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A Cycle of Modern Fairy Tales 
for City Children 






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The Author and Illustrator desires to express his 
gratitude to MR. HARVEY ELLIS, of Rochester, N. 
Y., for the interest he has added to this book by a 
sympathetic colouring of the plates, achieved with an 
originality far above the capacity of their envious 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, . . . . . . .11 



I. THE TERRIBLE TRAIN, . . . . . 31 

II. THE RUNAWAY CHAIRS, . . . . .41 


IV. THE VERY GRAND PIANO, . . . . .63 
V. THE PERT FIRE ENGINE, . . . . -73 

VI. THE INSANE BATTERY, . . . . . .83 



IX. THE BOTHERSOME BRIG, . . . . .119 


XI. THE BOLD BALLOON, . . . . . . H3 

XII. THE LAZY LAMPPOSTS, . . . . . 153 


XV. THE BLIND CAMERA, . . , . . .187 



Washing the Terrible Train, half drowned and spluttering, out into the 

air. (Coloured.) ...... Frontispiece. 


A Train that would climb the Church Steeple and spin the Weather Vane. 29 
His faithful Train supported him by doing acrobatic tricks for tourists. 

(Heading). ........ 31 

The Train coiled itself up in the Orchestra, and, lazily thumping its tail 

against the Balconies, it fell asleep. . . . . .38 

A gallant charge of Rocking-chairs attacked the carters. (Coloured.) . 40 

The Furniture formed in line and marched silently to the Park (Head'g). 41 

At twelve o' clock the Doors of the Houses slowly opened. . . 44 

The express Elevator flew through the house high into the air. . . 53 
At the end of the main corridor was a shaft in which lived Three Elevators. 

(Heading.) ...... 55 

" Come on and help ! I can't hold on it much longer ! " said the strong 

Elevator. . ..... 58 

The Piano, standing beneath the long arms of his beloved Windmill, 

would serenade her plaintively. (Coloured.) . . .62 

The Piano tore out a few heavy wires and threw them as far as he could. 

(Heading). ........ 63 

The Very Grand Piano made his way, with the help of a Road Engine, to 

the Windmill. ....... 67 

Suddenly the Telegraph poles closed around him. . . . 71 

The Fire Engine, with a laugh, sent a stream of water through its win- 
dow. (Heading.) ... ... 73 

He was severely scolded by the Mayor o' Ligg. . . . .78 



The Cannons now began firing at everything in sight. (Coloured.) 
The Cannons lay about the fortifications, wheezing and sneezing and 

coughing. (Heading.) ...... 83 

One after another the Guns were dismounted. 

The Hansom, with a terrible jerk, threw his shaft upward and tossed the 

horse high into the air. ...... 93 

The Cab Wheels began to revolve, and they began to sail up the river like 

a new sort of steamboat. (Heading.) . . . -95 

The last thing the Hansom saw of the mill it was disappearing into the 

forest, a half mile away. . . . . . 101 

The Locomotive hoisted the Steamboat on top of his cab, and set out 

across the fields. (Coloured.) .... 104 

At midnight the Locomotive got on board the Steamboat, and she 

steamed slowly up the river. (Heading.) . . . 105 

The Balloon then rose, and the Locomotive and the Steamboat were 

hoisted high in the air. . . . . . . 110 

The Locomotive finally succeeded in climbing a tall tree. . .no 

It was impossible to get the Brig round the corner. . . .117 

The Brig went forward easily, under full sail. (Heading.) . .119 

The Brig dipped her bowsprit under the wheel of the Steam Roller and 

pushed till she had got the machine up the bank. . . .122 

The Church hid behind a clump of trees to see the little House swimming 

in her sleep ! (Coloured.) ...... 130 

The little House had always behaved with the greatest propriety. 

(Heading.) ........ 131 

The two dripping, purple buildings embraced each other with touching 

fondness. . . . . . . - ! 35 

The City Clocks used to make faces at him, but he paid them well for 

that by twisting their hands round the wrong way. 141 

Slowly, his silken bag filled with gas, and his strength returned. 

(Heading.) ........ 143 



" How do you do ? " said the Sewing-machine, " and who are you ? " . 147 
Wading in boldly, they carefully pushed their way through the waves. 

(Coloured.) ....... 152 

The Lampposts on Queer Street were the rhost disorderly in the City o' 

Ligg. (Heading.) . . 153 

As they reached the harbour, the Lampposts became exceedingly ill. . 156 
A maroon-enamelled machine shot after her, at a terrific speed. . 163 

Mr. Diamond Frame was proud of his family and his connections. 

(Heading.) ........ 165 

She found her lover disgracefully lurching round the rink, under the 

weight of a fat man, learning to ride ! . . . .166 

The Stable stuck there, pierced through by the spire, impaled an hun- 
dred feet high above the street. (Coloured.) . . .174 
The Stable rose steadily in the air, like a balloon ! (Heading.) . . 175 
It was their firm belief that the Stable devoured horses. . . .176 
He opened the door and stepped out into the studio to tell the others 

about it. ........ 185 

He stood on his head. (Heading.) ..... 187 

He sank, on a painted imitation balustrade. .... 190 

The Train gave a tremendous leap into the air and hurdled the Bridge. . 199 
It was not a good, honest Suspension Bridge, hung from wire cables, but 

was supported by iron rods and straps. (Heading.) . . 201 

The Crane picked up the carriages one by one and tossed them into the 

river. ........ 206 

He led them over to No. 7, and the Mayor and Yak looked curiously at 

the roll of Tapestry. ... . 211 

The Mayor laughed. " That is a crazy design, isn't it ? " said the 

Mayor. (Heading.) . . 2I 3 

Yak had been cutting up the Tapestry and had it spread out on the floor 

and walls. . . . . .216 


THERE is no mistake more common in everyday life, 
than that which transposes cause for effect; and it is no- 
where more common than in our conception of Inanimate 
Objects. We say that because Objects are inanimate, 
therefore they are not intelligent ; whereas the proper 
reasoning would affirm that because they are not intelli- 
gent, therefore they are not animated. This casuistry, 
however, does not carry us far afield, since most are will- 
ing to accept without challenge the fact that such objects 
are, in point of fact, neither animated nor intelligent. It 
is only when we push the investigation toward the 
speculation as to whether or not they ever existed in any 
other condition, that opinions diverge. 

It is remarkable what slow progress has been made in 


this question since its partial discussion by Mrs. Walker. 
Her essay upon the Total Depravity of Inanimate Things * 
broke the first ground, but subsequent attempts to pursue 
the matter have been few and fitful. Mrs. Walker, indeed 
proceeded in the most unscientific and loose manner, and 
contented herself with an analysis of a minor consideration, 
a specialised detail of the characteristics of Inanimate Ob- 
jects, missing the opportunity of being the first to formulate 
the theory that such objects do or did actually possess more 
or less highly developed characteristics, manners and 
customs, of which their total depravity is but one evidence. 
It is not too late, then, to go back to the main point 
at issue, and assemble the main evidences of what may be 
called character, in the Unnatural Science of the whole 
genera. To be comprehensive, to catalogue all the data 
bearing upon the subject, would extend unduly the limits 
of such an essay as this, and therefore, only a few of the 
many various phases of the subject will be taken up ; 
enough to prove indubitably the thesis, but leaving to 
subsequent investigators the collocation of the myriad 
facts necessary to establish the definitive and exhaustive 
deductions that shall formulate and classify all inanimate 

*"The Total Depravity of Inanimate Things," by Mrs. E. A. Walker. "Little 
Classics " Series, Volume V. " Laughter." 


The three most convincing proofs that such an unnat- 
ural science does exist, and that, whatever their present 
condition, inanimate objects are derived from similar 
objects possessing animation in a more or less developed 
state, from which condition they have, in the supremacy 
of Man, degenerated, are as follows : 

I. Evidences of prehistoric animation, shown by 
Etymology, in the gender of words in foreign languages, 
and English idiom, etc. 

II. Evidences of a comatose or degenerate animation 
in the Objects themselves. 

III. Evidences of degenerate functions and features in 

i. We have only to inspect the empirical use of gender 
in French and other substantives, to be confronted imme- 
diately with a paradox which the affirmation of this 
thesis alone can explain. The English language has, it 
is true, discarded the old categories, but that, it might 
be said, en passant, is but another example of the hard 
and fast literalness of our tongue, its radical spirit, con- 
stantly changing to the spirit of new conditions, its dis- 
regard for derivation and analogy ; in a word, its 
wonderful power of growth. We need only go back one 
step to the French, however, to find the evidences which 
English Etymology has been in such haste to conceal. 

> J O J 


In French, then, we have the following Objects, for 
example, classed as Masculine : Balloon, Piano, Train, 
Cannon, Cab, Mill, and Boat ; while other things are 
designated as Feminine, such as House, Chair, Table, 
Locomotive, Church, Stable, and Lantern. 

Obviously, where there is evidence of sex, there must 
have been life, one being a function of the other, and the 
inevitable conclusion is that at some period of their exist- 
ence, all these Objects, and many others, must have been 
known to be, or to have been, animate as late as the rise 
of the Romance tongues. 

At first glance the German Language seems to con- 
tain evidences of a transitionary state, and, to mark the 
first abandonment of the old tradition that objects had 
been once alive, we find the use of the neuter gender, 
so called, to distinguish many objects, as well as a double 
use of masculine and feminine. For instance, we have 
three words for Mill : Meizel, (Masculine) Muehle (fem- 
inine) and Hammerwerk, (Neuter). The superficial 
explanation would doubtless be, that with the growing 
distrust in the early legends, the genders of objects had be- 
come confused in the Teutonic mind, newly freed from the 
strict empire of this theory, and become lax and inaccurate, 
and there is no doubt that the increasing use of the neuter 
form played havoc with the former recognised distinction. 


Indeed, it is only fair to say, this view is strenghtened by 
the fact that many words masculine in French are femi- 
nine in German, Cannon, Boat, for instance, to cite from 
our previous list, where, too, the reverse case may be 
exemplified as well. 

A deeper reasoning, however, will convince one that 
this theory is not inadequate, and it is impossible to escape 
the more comprehensive explanation that this double 
form in so many substantives proves a much more 
reasonable state of things, i. e., that objects in their 
animate state had highly developed sexual distinctions, 
even amongst things of the same sort. In fine, there were 
doubtless male and female houses, mills, and pianos, &c., 
as might naturally be inferred a priori. Thus the Ger- 
man Genders hark back to the primeval knowledge of 
mankind even more clearly than the French, the Teu- 
tonic imagination and poetic insight retaining faith in 
the early myths long after it had crystalised into an 
empirical dogma amongst the Gauls. 

But though we have not these convincing evidences 
in English etymology, our native idiom preserves many 
traces of the folk, or rather the object-lore of our 
ancestors. We still speak of the legs of a chair, of the 
arms of a sofa, the back of a settee, the hands of a watch. 
It is idle to controvert the obvious inference by suppos- 


ing these to have been named merely by resemblances of 
form. Does the leg of a table resemble in any way the 
leg of a man or a horse ? No ! it undoubtedly was so 
named, far back in the early days of the race, because at 
one time tables had legs, with which they stood, walked, 
ran and kicked. In the same way it is not uncommon, 
even nowadays, to. hear that highly suggestive idiom : 
"the lamp has gone out," and the craftsmen, who per- 
haps preserve more of the old words and phrases than any 
other class, still speak of the " teeth >: of saws, the 
" heads " of nails, the " eyes " of needles : the printer 
" feeds" his press ; we speak of a piano as " grand ' or 
" upright," we even distinguish " bell ' buoys. These 
are only a few of a thousand cases that might be cited in 
support of the theory. 

2. The evidence of degenerate functions or even 
actions of Inanimate Objects has been too well shown, 
in the above-mentioned essay, to need much elaboration 
here. The reader is referred to that work, and, his eyes 
once opened to the bearing of its evidence upon the higher 
issues involved, he may easily read into the text, a full 
exposition of the importance of such phenomena, in their 
bearing upon the case. Many other manifestations 
might be adduced, such as the table-tipping of Spiritual- 
ists, never before accounted for by this simple explana- 


tion, the shutting of doors, and the ease with which 
small articles get lost. A ball left standing upon the 
slope of a hill, will run down to the bottom. The clock 
moves its hands, strikes, and goes slow or fast ; all 
objects grow old. If these instances are not conclusive, 
further multiplication of cases is futile. 

3. Not the least interesting, though perhaps not the 
most conclusive, evidence of a previous state of animation 
in Inanimate Objects is to be found in Architecture. 
There is no doubt that houses were the most highly 
organised, as well as the first and best known objects 
with which Primeval Man was familiar. The esteem 
with which dwellings were held by the descendants of the 
cave-dwellers is evidenced in the earliest attempts to 
imitate houses, and it is a remarkable and conclusive fact, 
that as yet no single house bitilt by our primitive ancestors, 
Jiozuevcr remote, lias been foiind that does not possess 
some sort of rude elementary door, and indeed, as far 
back as the Lake dwellings, we have abundant corrob- 
oration of the fact that windows were not unknown ! 

The door and window, in fact, were persistent elements 
in all ancient Architecture. We can trace the influence 
of the original idea through the Roman, Egyptian, 
Greek, Byzantine, and Renaissance periods, clown to the 
very end of the Victorian Era. What does this mean ? 


There is scarcely any doubt but that, in the original 
Animate Objects, the cloor was by way of being the 
mouth of the house, and it was but natural that Primitive 
Man, to whom food was the most important need of his 
savage life, emphasised the organ of Eating in his 
earliest attempts at architecture. Next to subsistence 
came the necessity for Seeing. Self Defence demanded 
an eye, hence the window, the eyes of the extinct 
Houses. We have just seen how these canons came 
down to us and how in the development of Architecture 
they were never wholly lost sight of. Indeed, one need 
only to look at a modern house to recognise the rea- 
sonableness of this hypothesis. 

This much is too apparent to need further proof, and 
few will have the temerity to deny the glaring probabili- 
ties of the case, but the unnatural scientist will look 
farther, and see a host of corroborative details. The 
most striking, as well as one of the least-known phrases 
lies in what might be called the " expression " of houses, 
irrespective of any marked similarity to human beings. 
This is what architects term "design." It is enough to 
say that certain houses have an anxious, some an uneasy, 
and others a generous, reposeful aspect. Our poets are 
fond of describing church steeples as " fingers pointing 
Heavenward," The illustration, and the whole miscon- 


ceived personification is ill-described, but it exemplifies a 
state of things well understood by the imaginative. 

Could space be afforded, proofs might also be added 
from mythology and the sacred writings of early literature. 
We will not insult our readers' intelligence, however, by 
burdening a volume of proof already overwhelming. 

It is unfortunate, that, in this mechanical age, most 
objects have lost more and more of those characteristics 
which were common to all before their cidivation. It 
may be said broadly, however, that the nearer an Object 
approaches an art, the stronger is its personality, what- 
ever be its powers of will. The piano is a familiar 
instance, with its gracefully curved legs, which once were 
capable of dignified locomotion, and its voice, now pro- 
voked only at the discretion of the musician. The 
Camera has other pronounced characteristics and quali- 
ties, and a certain curious dignity of its own, despite its 
absurd three legs (a rudimentary fourth being often 
noticed), and the early over-development of its eye will 
occur to every intelligent thinker. 

It is not within the scope of this article to discuss the 
causes which led to the degeneracy of this strange race 
of objects, the means by which their freedom was sub- 
verted by Man, or the scope and locus of its original civ- 


Less apropos even than interesting this balance of 
po\ver is the consideration of the possibility of tire cross- 
ing of the t\vo equi-dominant races or species, as hinted 
in the analogies of the biped beasts of mythology. Here, 
however, the reader may investigate for himself and 
amuse himself with speculations upon the Equus Cabal- 
lustrade, the Liano or Piano Lion, the Giraffopost and 
other strange mongrels. There was doubtless a stage 
in the progress of the two races, when animals and ob- 
jects existed contemporaneously, and were equipped with 
approximately equal powers, and it is to this era that the 
mise en scene of the tales in this book belongs. But 
the one was destined to go on and perfect a still higher 
culture, while the other had already passed its summa- 
tion of development, and was degenerating. The 
struggle must have been furious, though probably of 
short duration, and the laws of Evolution triumphed. 
We can have no doubt but that it was a survival of the 


ABOUT twenty-one miles outside of the City o' Ligg, 
there was a long, narrow, dark, slimy tunnel like a worm- 
hole in the hills such a terrible tunnel that no one had 
ever ventured inside for more than a few steps, and then 
only by daylight. By night, no one had ever dared go 
near this awful round hole at all, for in it lived a fearful, 
fierce and furious railway train, the most terrific train 
that ever was. It had once been harmless enough, and 
had carried many a load of passengers from the seaside 
up to the City o' Ligg, but long ago it had escaped from 
the railway station, and had run away into the hills, so 
that it should not have to work. 

The tunnel was so narrow that, when inside, the train 
could not turn itself round, and one could hear it roaring 
and hissing, deep in the dark inside of the hill, grumbling 


like a dragon. From time to time it would stick its head 
out of the hole in the hillside, and whistle with wild, hor- 
rible shrieks, and spit fire and steam out of its smoke- 
stack, and cough out volumes of black smoke, in a way to 
terrify the people for miles around. 

It was an English train, all jointed together with little 
coaches. Its head was an old-style locomotive, with a 
closed cab like a monkey's ears. Its thorax was com- 
posed of first-class compartment carriages, its abdomen 
of second and third-class carriages, and it had a tail like a 
scorpion a little, stumpy brake-van that wobbled from 
side to side and would never stay on the line. From 
nose to tail the train was all of a whitish yellow, like a 
slug having faded and bleached by living in the darkness 
of the tunnel for so many years. 

The train looked for all the world like a big snake, 
especially when it came out at night to eat fences ; for, 
as the neighbours had taken up the rails leading into the 
tunnel, it had to hump itself along like an immense inch- 
worm, covering an eighth of a mile at each hump ! As 
it worked its way along, it waved its yellow locomotive 
head from side to side-, and its shrieks frightened every 
person in the country into his house, there to look, with 
white face, from the third story windows, trembling, till 
the monster had passed, and had gone back into his 


tunnel to sleepily digest a few miles of picket-fence in 

Now, many rewards had been offered by the Mayor of 
the City o'Ligg for the capture of the terrible train, but 
for a lono- lonor time n o one had dared even to think of 

o ' O 

attempting such a dangerous feat. But there was in 
town a little boy named Yak, very valourous and high- 
spirited, who had set his wits to work upon the problem, 
till at last a oood idea crawled into his small head. 


So one day he painted himself with black paint from 
head to foot, so that he could not be seen in the dark. 
He took a bag of jam sandwiches, and he crawled into 
the tunnel, to spend the day in watching the train. 
After he had got in a few miles, he heard the muffled hiss 
of the engine's pistons, and he flattened himself against 
the side of the tunnel, and edged along in perfect silence. 
It was an anxious moment, for if he should come across 
the head of the train, it would be certain death, because 
he knew that the train would chase him and eat him up 
before he could get away. 

Suddenly his foot slipped and he fell against the tail 
of the train, hitting the brake-van that was wagging away 
very contentedly. Yak's heart jumped, and he gave him- 
self up for lost ; but seeing that the train had either not 
noticed the blow, or had thought it was only some little 


hand-car that had ventured in, he worked himself along- 
side the carriages till, round a curve, he saw a flicker, and 
there was the train eating away, with its little head-light 
fu.^hino- first on one side of the tunnel and then on the 


other ! The side walls were black and shiny masses of 
rock. It was as Yak had expected the train was eating 
its dinner of anthracite coal ! 

As the boy watched, he accidentally touched a second- 
class carriage in the train's most sensitive and ticklish 


spot. With a roar and a loud, screaming whistle, it be- 
gan to writhe bajkwards to get at the intruder, but Yak 
turned and ran for his life, and reached the mouth of the 
tunnel just in time to escape being crushed under the 

In spite of the danger, however, Yak crawled into the 
tunnel the next day and the next, to watch the train eat- 
ing its dinner of anthracite coal. He had the eood luck 

o o 

never to encounter the head of the train, which would 
undoubtedly have bitten him into little pieces, or even 
swallowed him whole. The last day he went in was a 
Sunday, when he found the train feeding at a new place, 
and Yak saw, by the look of the dull black walls of the 
tunnel, that this was where the train kept his soft, bitu- 
minous coal. There was so little of it that the train kept 
it only for Sundays, for soft coal was considered a great 
delicacy by this greedy train. 


Now that Yak was sine of the train's weakness, he laid 
his plans boldly, and, with the help of the Mayor o' Ligg, 
and a million labourers, he laid a line from the City 
o' Ligg to the mouth of the tunnel, and spread the track 
very thickly with a layer of soft, bituminous coal. But to 
get the train to turn around, so that it should come out 
head first upon the line that was the question ! 

The far end of the tunnel came out of the hill by the 
side of a river, where Yak had often seen the train come 
to drink, and so here the boy and the Mayor came, with 
their million men. They dug and they delved for many 
nights and many days, till they had dammed the stream, 
and made a new channel leading from the river to the 
mouth of the tunnel. When, at last, all was ready, they 
waited till the train had gone into the tunnel after drink- 
ing one evening and then turned the stream into the por- 
tal, and it rushed through the hole in the hill like a 
deluge, washing the terrible train, half drowned and 
spluttering, head foremost, out into the open air, along- 
side the new laid-line. The train, which had not had a 
bath for many, many years, took it a good deal more 
good-humouredly than might have been expected, and, 
shaking itself till the water was spattered over the 
countryside like a thunderstorm, it crawled upon the em- 
bankment, and began to eat the soft coal, as if nothing- 
disturbing had happened. 


When it had eaten all it could burn, it slowly backed 
into the tunnel again and slept all night, snoring loudly. 
It came out every day after that, rolling along the rails, 
and eating a little more coal each time, getting gradually 
farther and farther from its tunnel, till, in three weeks 
it had boldly entered the City o' Ligg ! 

Now, the end of the line led into the Grand Opera 
House, and precisely a month after its bath, the train 
puffed into the building, heavy with coal, and coiling it- 
self up in the orchestra and lazily thumping its tail 
against the balconies, it fell fast asleep ! 

In a moment the doors were bolted. Then, telling the 
Mayor that the rest was easily done, Yak ran home and 
went to bed, for he had not had a good night's sleep for 
a month. 

When he re-entered the Grand Opera House, the train 
was lying in a stupor, its tail limp, and its little head-light 
dull and smoky. Yak seated himself beside the locomo- 
tive and softly stroked its head. As the train slowly 
awoke, it felt the little boy oiling its wheels, and quietly 
rubbing the connecting-rods, and polishing the brasses 
and boiler of its locomotive. This kindness was too 
affecting for the train to resist ; its engine would not 
snort and its bell rang very softly, so as not to frighten 
its little friend. Yak came every day to see the train, 


and at last the monster grew so tame that it would eat 
out of the boy's hand. 

The train was now released from the Opera House and 
all the citizens of the City o' Lig-g came out to welcome 
it and its little master. All praised its docility. The 
little girls brought garlands of roses and hung them 
round its neck, and the ladies of the town trimmed it with 
flags, while the men painted it freshly with white and 
gold. It was pointed out to all the railway stations as a 
model of deportment. 

The train never outgrew its love for its little master, 


Yak, and it became his especial pet, carrying him to 
school every day, and waiting for him under the trees 
until he was ready to return home. It would, however, 
never allow any of the other children on its back ; it 
would gently but firmly shake them off, whenever they 
attempted to steal a ride. Long after Yak grew too old 
to work, his faithful train supported him by doing acro- 
batic tricks for tourists in the City o' Ligg, and many 
strangers brought away with them strange and improba- 
ble tales of a train that would stand on its head for a 
penny, or climb the church steeple and spin the weather 
vane for their amusement. 

At last the train died. It was a sad and cruel death, 
caused by a malicious little boy, who was jealous of Yak's 


reputation as a train-tamer. He found the train alone 
one night, on a siding, and, after uncoupling all the 
carriages, shunted them around to different parts of the 
station yard. The next morning help was sent for, but, 

by a fearful mistake, the train was put together wrongly, 
with all the third-class carriages next the locomotive ! It 
had much trouble in digesting even the softest coke or 
wood after this, and at last it came to a standstill upon a 
suspension bridge, and never moved again. 


IT was a sly old rocking-chair that began it, but the 
conspiracy spread so quickly all over the City o' Ligg 
that all the furniture must have been quite ready for the 

" I have been sat upon quite enough ! " said the rocker ; 
" not to speak of the horrid men that put their feet in my 

" I don't see why you should care if they put their feet 
on you," a pert little foot-stool replied. " For my part, I 
think it's low of them to sit on me ; you were made for 
that, but I wasn't ! " 

" At all events," the old sofa grumbled, " only one can 
sit on you at a time you needn't complain. What 
would you do if a half dozen of them tried to sit on you 
at once ? That's what they do to me ! " 


" Well, they can't throw you around the room, and use 
you for a step-ladder or a table, anyway !" It was a 
frisky young stool who had interrupted. " They not only 
put their feet on me, but they stand on me, too ! Look 
at my rungs they're all barked and sore ; the skin's all 
knocked off." 

" Wait till they break your leg as they did mine, be- 
fore you talk," said the easy chair. " They gave my 
arm an awful wrench yesterday ; and, the first thing I 
know, I'll have to go to the cabinet-maker's, and have it 
set. Perhaps you know what hot glue feels like, young 
fellow ? " ' . 

" No, thank Heaven, I don't ! " said the stool ; " but I 
have been scraped and sandpapered ! " 

" That doesn't hurt ! " said the table. " When they 
begin to use the plane on you, then you can squeak ! 
Here I am, with only two castors to my feet. I wonder 
how thcyd like to go without toes ? " 

" That's all right ; you don't have to be upholstered, 
and tacked and sown up. Perhaps it's fun to have long 
needles stuck into you every year or so, and about a 
thousand tacks driven in, and have all your stuffing 

* O 

pulled out, just as soon as it's flattened down easy in the 
worn spots ! " The rocking-chair tossed violently as it 
spoke, and hitched its way over to the stool. 


" What are you going to do about it ?" said the piano- 
stool, turning- from one to the other. 

" I have been thinking about it, and I propose that we 
all strike, and send the foot-stool round through the 


town to notify all the furniture in all the houses to quit 
work." the rocker said. 

The plot was discussed and accepted forthwith, and 
that night the little foot-stool stole out of doors, and 
visited a dozen houses. Up and down the street the 
excitement spread, and every piece of furniture in the 
City o' Ligg was at last converted, except the pianos. 

" It's all right for you fellows," they said, " but we 
have no complaints. They don't dare abuse us, and 
stand on us, or leave the window open so that we'll catch 
cold, for we're too jolly expensive ! But you go on, and 
we wish you good luck ! " 

And so it was decided that, on an appointed night, 
every piece of furniture in the City o' Ligg should run 
away into the woods outside the town. The houses, 
after a good deal of persuasion, reluctantly consented to 
open their doors. 

Now, the little boy named Yak lived in the very house 
where the plot began, and that night he went to sleep 
upon the old sofa, under a large rug. Why the sofa 
never told the others, was never found out. Perhaps 



he thought he would keep the boy prisoner as a hos- 
tage, perhaps the sofa was so heavy that he did not 
notice the extra weight, but, at any rate, Yak slept ou 
through all the bustle of the runaway, and never woke 
up until it was all over. 

It was a strange sight, the migration of the chairs and 
tables, that August night. At twelve o'clock, all over 
the city o' Ligg, the doors of the houses slowly opened, 
and creeping quietly downstairs came lines of chairs, and 
stools, and tables, and sofas. As each house was emptied, 


the furniture formed in line and marched silently to the 
park in the centre of the town. The lamp posts waved 
at them as they passed, and the few ash-barrels that were 
left upon the streets rolled with laughter to see the 
clumsy old pieces of furniture go by. 

In the park they were joined by many benches, anxious 
to escape from the work they had t^ do, not only by day 
but often by night, when, at least, the others might rest. 
The rocking-chair then divided the whole army into divi- 
sions for the march. 

First came the little foot-stools. After these came the 
three and four-legged stools and piano-stools, who 
creaked like a fife-corps in time with the marching legs 
of the straight chairs that followed. There were thou- 


sands of these ; dining-chairs, parlour chairs with curved 
legs, stiff chamber chairs stuffed, padded, and cane- 
seated. The arm-chairs and sofas came next, waddling 
along heavily, and a regiment of tables brought up the 
rear. Alongside the procession galloped the rockers, 
keeping the whole line moving in an orderly fashion, and 
carrying orders back and forth. The chairs with castors 
got along very easily on the paved streets, but when they 
struck the rough roads of the country, they slipped in 
the most ludicrous fashion. 

The wood was reached just as day broke, and the whole 


army stood around amongst the trees, and rested. The 
campaign had been a great success, and they laughed to 
think that their days of work were over. As long as they 
could hide in the forest they were safe. 

It was just as they were congratulating themselves on 
their freedom that little Yak awoke. When he put his 
head out from under the rug, he was astonished to see 
himself in the forest; but when he looked round, and 
saw thousands and thousands of chairs and tables and 
sofas, he could not believe his eyes. The old rocker had 
just begun to address the assembled furniture. 

"Fellow Pieces," said he, "this is all right for a be- 
ginning, and we may congratulate ourselves upon our 
success, but we have a still greater duty to perform. 
There is no doubt that as soon as our loss is discovered, 
other pieces of furniture will be speedily manufactured 
and will be forced to submit to the slavery from which 
we have escaped. Can we rest happily here, while our 
new-made brothers and sisters are ground under the foot 
of tyrant Man ?" 

" NO ! " cried all the furniture, as with a single voice. 

" No !" answered the rocker. "I, myself, am of the 
solidest mahogany, and I am one of the oldest Sheraton 
designs ; but were I the cheapest veneer, my glue would 
boil at such selfishness. Let us send emissaries, then, 


into the town every night, and teach these unfortunates 
how to throw off the yoke ! Who will volunteer for this 
dangerous service?" 


Yak waited to hear no more. Luckily he was on the 
outskirts of the mob, for if he had been observed he 
would have been trodden to death by the excited chairs. 
He dropped to the ground and crawled out of sight, and 
then ran as fast as he could for the town. He found the 


City o' Ligg in confusion. It was now noon, and nobody 
had been able to sit clown, except upon the floor, since 
early morning. He thought to himself how terrible it 
would have been if the beds had run away, also ! 

The inhabitants of the city were dumfounded when 
they discovered that there was not a seat left in the whole 
town. They had to eat their dinners from the mantle- 
pieces or sitting tailor-wise on the floor, and they could 
not imaoqne what had become of all their furniture. Yak 


went directly to the Mayor, and told his story. 

"It is impossible that my furniture should have been 
so ungrateful !" said the Mayor. " Why, it was only last 
spring that I gave every piece in my house a new coat of 
varnish ! " 

"Well," said Yak, " there they all are, and I doubt if 
there is much varnish left on them by this time." 

The Mayor was at last convinced of the exodus, and 


taking many horses and many carts, waggons, wains, 
drays, trucks, and vans, he went out to the wood to see 
what could be done about the matter. When the pieces 
of furniture saw men approaching, they formed in battal- 
ions, and prepared to fight the enemy. Before the 
Mayor knew what to expect, a gallant charge of rocking- 
chairs had attacked the carters, and, while they were in 
confusion, platoons of heavy dining-tables advanced, and 
began to rear and kick so that no man could stand against 
them. The solid mahogany sofas cut off all retreat, and 
before long the Mayor and all his men \vere surrounded 
by the now infuriated furniture. 

Although they had won the victory, the old rocker was 
shrewd enough to know that, now their hiding place was 
discovered, it was only a question of time when the 
Mayor would be reinforced by a squadron of cabinet 
makers with sharp saws and planes ; so, taking some of 
the more influential pieces of furniture aside, he suggested 
that a treaty be made with the Mayor of the City o' Ligg. 
This was agreed to, after much discussion, and the offer 
was proposed to the Mayor. 

The Mayor, in his turn, wished to consult with his 
council, but the chairs refused to allow this. The Mayor 
haggled about the terms of the agreement, but after he 
had hesitated some time, eight elephantine billiard tables, 


impatient at the delay, threatened to begin to kick with 
their legs if he did not agree immediately. And so the 
Mayor, now quite terrified, signed the following agree- 
ment : 

1. Owners of furniture should not put their feet on 
anything but foot-stools, and should not sit down on any- 
thing but chairs and sofas. 

2. Furniture should be repaired and revarnished as 
soon as possible after being broken or scratched. 

3. Furniture should be upholstered with only the best 
and softest materials, and covered with good taste, gimp 
to be glued on, and not tacked. 

4. Rocking-chairs should have the ends of all rockers 
round, instead of pointed, and all other chairs to be fur- 
nished with easily-rolling castors. 

5. The sofas should not have to hold more than three 
persons, and the twirling piano-stools should be oiled 
once a week. 

6. All the furniture should be carted back to the City 
o' Ligg with the honours of war. 

And back they were carried, indeed, and they drove 
into the city waving their legs from a thousand carts, 
waggons, wains, drays, trucks, and vans, from which they 
were selected by their crestfallen owners, and taken to 
their respective homes. The houses welcomed them 


soberly enough ; but more than one window winked its 
shutter, as if to say, " That's all right, but I wonder how 
long it will be before my master puts his feet on the 
rungs of his best white-and-golcl parlour chairs again ?" 


THERE was one immense building in the City o' Ligg ; 
it was twenty-seven stories high ! At the end of the 
main corridor, which was a gorgeous affair, paved with 
marble and walled with malachite, there was a shaft, in 
which lived three elevators. 

One of these elevators was very, very strong. One 
was very, very swift. One was neither very strong nor 
very swift, but it made up for it by being very, very 
clever, as you shall see. 

The strong elevator was used chiefly for carrying up 
heavy pieces of merchandise, and was not fitted up so 
beautifully as the others. The swift one was an " Express 
Elevator," and did not stop till he got to the twentieth 


story. If you wanted to go to a floor between that and 
the ground floor, you had to take the one in the middle 
of the three, which was the clever elevator. 

At night, after the power was turned off, the three 
elevators rested, side by side on the ground floor, at the 
end of the corridor. It was then that they used to gos- 
sip over the clay's work, and the strong one would brag 
of the heavy cases he had lifted ; the swift one would 
boast of how he had made the trip to the roof in two 
minutes many and many a time, and could do it in 1:46, 
if necessary, with a good elevator boy ; and the clever 
one did not say much, but she would lead the others on, 
and keep them talking. 

One clay the swift elevator, who always made the last 
trip, dropped down to the floor as the electric lights were 
turned off, in a great excitement. 

" What do you think ? " he said, " a great, stupid house 
has crawled on top of this building ; it is a ten-story 
house, too !" 

" Heavens ! Do you suppose we'll have to make 
thirty-seven-story trips, now ? That is too much of a 
ofood thinsf ! " said the strong elevator. 

^^ ^j *j 

" I am afraid we shall," said the clever one, " unless 
we can do something about it, in a hurry !" 
" What can we do ? " cried the other two. 


" Well," said the clever one to the swift one, " if you 
could only <ro fast enough " 

J O **-J 

" Oh, no fear, / can go fast enough ; you wait !" said 
the swift elevator, shaking her annunciator drops. 

" Or if you were a little stronger," continued the one 
in the centre, as she looked slyly at the heavy freight 

The strong one rattled his rope with his chuckles. 
" Well, I think you can trust me ! ' 

" Well, then, perhaps we can do it," said the clever 
little elevator. 

" But how?" enquired the other two. 

" Why, it's only necessary to push the house off ; and 
it doesn't matter whether you shoot up fast and knock it 
off with a jerk, or go up slowly, the way old freightie 
does, and push it off by main force ; it's all the same" as 
long as the house falls off. I'm not very strong, and I'm 
not very swift, but I can'see the way it ought to be done, 
easily enough." 

Then the other two consulted together. " Let vie try 
first !" said one, and " No, let me try first," said the other, 
till they had to appeal to the middle one to decide which 
should have the honour of the first trial. 

" Let the express go first," said the clever one, " and if 
he can't do it, then the goods elevator may try it." 


So the express elevator drew a long breath and braced 
himself against a floor. "Go!' cried the others. He 


shot up like a bullet out of a gun, so fast and so hard 
that he drove up and up, right into the house on top of 
the building, where there was no shaft, and tore a hole, 

ten stories high, clear through it. But his speed was so 
great that he flew through the house, high into the air, 
and then fell down, smasJi ! on the roof of the house, 
and was killed. 


" Now, it is your turn/ said the clever one, smiling 

The strong freight c^.r took a tight hold on his rope, 
and crawled slowly up, story by story, till he had reached 
the top of the shaft, at the twenty-seventh floor. There 
he rested a few minutes to get his breath. Then he put 
his head against the house, and exerted all his strength 

o o 

in a mighty effort. He pushed and pushed, but though 
he lifted the whole house up about twenty feet, he could 
do no more. 

Then he shouted clown the shaft to the other : " Come 
on and help ! It's heavier than I thought, and I can't 
hold it much longer ! Come quickly !" 

" I'm right here ! " said the clever elevator, who had 
stolen up the shaft after him ; " I'll help." 

But instead of helping, that sly little car crawled out 
of the hole the swift elevator had made, and crept along 
the roof of the building in the space left by the other's 
holding up the house. It was lucky for her that the 
stupid freight elevator could not see, for if he had dropped 
the house, it would have crushed her flatter than a pan- 
cake. She was a little frightened, but she got safely to 
the edge, and dropped to a roof near by, and lay there 
laughing to her own naughty little self. 


The strong elevator held up the house as long as he 
could, and then let it drop with a groan. 

" Why didn't you push more ? " he said ; but when he 
came down and found that the clever one was gone, he 
didn't know what to make of it at all. He was a very 
dull machine, and he never knew what a fool the sly one 
had made of them both. 

But the clever little car stayed up on the roof in the 
sun watching the lively City o' Ligg all clay, and slept 
all night, thanking her ropes that she didn't have to 
work any more, and didn't have to obey an ignorant 
elevator boy who would stop her with a jerk, and start 
her with a jounce. And unless she has been taken away 
and mads into a street car, she is there yet ! 


THERE was once a piano in the City o' Ligg, who was 
so very grand that, besides the black and white keys that 
most pianos have, he possessed blue and red keys also, 
on which he could imitate the songs of birds, the ripple 
of rivulets, and the laughter of little children. 

But though he was the grandest piano in the City o' 
Ligg, he was not at all happy. He had fallen in love 
with a windmill, who did not encourage him ! The 
piano would often gulumph across the fields of an even- 
ing, clumsily climbing the many walls, fences, and hedges 
on the way, and, standing beneath the long arms of his 
beloved, he would serenade her plaintively in A-sharp. 
But it would never do any good ; the windmill would 
not notice him. 

After years of such futile devotion, the piano went to 
call upon an old church organ to seek advice. 


" I know very little of love," said the organ, " though 
I am often present at weddings ; but why not try B-flat 
for a change.' 


This seemed a good idea to the piano, and that very 
night he stole out of the music room, and made his way 
to where the windmill lived. He struck up a merry, 
frolicking tune in B-flat, that should have charmed a 
church clock. Indeed, this time the windmill did not 
seem so indifferent to his suit. She stopped to fan her- 
self, and turned her head to look at the piano ; but when 
she saw him squatting on three stumpy, though highly 
ornamented rosewood legs, in the middle of a ploughed 
field, she laughed aloud. 

This was too much for the Very Grand Piano, and, shut- 
ting his lid with a bang, he waddled across the field and 
jumped into the river, intending to drown himself, and 
so forget his sorrows and perpetual disappointments. 

He did not drown, however. The river bore him, 
floundering, down toward its mouth, but instead of 
swallowing him, it cast him high and dry, on a desert 
island, in the harbour. By this time he had decided to 
live, in spite of his sorrows, and he crawled up into the 
sun, opened his cover, and dried his sounding-board. 

For many days he was too wretched to speak, but at 
last the burden of his misery was too much to bear, and 


he groaned and sang aloud, chiefly in minor chords, upon 
his blue keys. So he continued, bewailing his fate, till, 
one clay, a kite carried the story of his sorrow to the 
windmill in the field. 

" Is he really as serious and as constant as all that ? " 
she said. " Perhaps I missed something, after all ! " 
And she sent a message, by way of the water-pipe, with 
whom she was connected (on her mother's side), to let 
the piano know that she was sorry. 

The water-pipe gave the message to the foghorn, who 
bawled it across to the foolish old piano upon the island. 
"Come home ! Come home !" shouted the foghorn, in 
a hoarse voice, across the waters of the harbour. 

But how was the piano to get home? He could not 
swim, and there was nothing in which to sail, for. all the 
tucfs in the harbour said it was none of their business if 


the piano wanted to make such a fool of himself, and 
they couldn't be expected to carry him. 

The piano was now more wretched than ever, and he 
played on his black keys all day the most heartrending 
music that ever was heard. The buoys bobbled with 
sympathy and excitement, but they had to stay and 
watch for ships, and so, of course, could do nothing. 
Many weeks passed in this miserable way. 

At last a kind old steamboat passed the island, and 


answered the grand piano's frantic signals. The steam- 
boat was willing to help, but the water was too shallow 
for her to approach very near the island, though the 
piano, half crazed with disappointment, waded out as far 
as he dared. All hope seemed over, when the steamboat 
whistled : " Pull out your strings, and throw them over 
my funnels ! >; 

With a cry of joy, the piano tore out a few heavy 
wires and, tying them together, threw them as far as he 
could. But no, they would not reach ! He tore out 
more and more, .till only three wires were left A, C, 
and D-flat. This sacrifice enabled him to reach the 
steamboat, and he was drawn aboard half drowned, and 
with one leg broken in the operation. It was set, but so 
clumsily put on that he was bowlegged all the rest of 
his life. 

And so, after many other misfortunes, this Very Grand 
Piano at last made his way, with the help of a road 
engine, to the field where the windmill was waiting for 
him. She, too, had not been happy, and the memory of 
the beautiful, bright rosewood piano, whom she had 
scorned, kept her awake niorht after ni^ht. How terri- 

J- O O 

ble, then, it was to see him again old, blistered, dull, 
and scratched, with one leg awry, his keys rough and 
soiled, and his carved music-rest full of sand ! 


But when he began to speak to her once more though, 
indeed, he played only on two black keys and one blue 
one her heart melted, and she completely broke down, 
weeping so that they thought her water-pipe had burst. 

And so she found that she loved the piano, in spite of 

his miserable appearance, and they were married and 
lived happily forever afterwards, having two children, an 
/Eolian harp and a hand organ. 


But tlve old foghorn never stopped wondering why the 
windmill would refuse a handsome polished Very Grand 
Piano, with plenty of strings, and accept him after he was 
old and used up, and with only three strings to his name ! 



THERE were many fire engines, members of the Fire 
Department of the City o' Ligg ; but of all the ir mber, 
the most ill-behaved was the disreputable little Number 
Four. He was known all over the city as the black 
sheep of the flock, and every one knew the stories f his 

In spite of his evil deeds, however, he was a very 
handsome machine, wearing a pretty coat of red enamel, 
and all his fittings were nickelled, so that they shone like 
silver buttons. He always had silken hose, too, for he 
was very rich. But he was usually the last engine at the 
fire, and he was always sure to shirk. He would hold 
back when he was signalled to " Play away, Four / " and 
he would squirt a stream strong enough to drench the 
Chief, when he should have held back. He consumed an 


enormous amount of the most expensive fuel, and he 
wheezed and puffed till the air shook with vibrations. He 
could have been the best engine in the Department, if he 
had wanted to, but he didn't. 

So the people of the City o' Ligg were not very much 
surprised when they learned that Number Four had run 
away. They hoped only that he would stay away, for 
they could get along much better without him. " He's 
more trouble than he's worth," said an old ladder-cart. 
" I've been tempted, more than once, to fall on him and 
break his boiler for him. He won't even have his hose 
darned, because he prefers to leak all over the street ! ' 

For a few weeks Number Four enjoyed his truancy. 
He spent most of his time down by a lake, a little out- 
side the city, and there he amused himself by going in 
swimming, and squirting water over himself like an ele- 
phant, till he shone brilliantly in the sunshine. When he 
was tired of that, he went around to the farmhouses, and 
sucked all the water out of their wells, and flooded their 
cellars. The stables were all very much afraid of him, 
but dared not complain, though they told their fences to 
catch him if they could. 

Another favourite ^ame of his was to fill his tank with 


water, and squirt it at the windmills, playing on their 
sails so as to make the wheels spin backwards. This 


made many of the windmills so ill that they had to stop 
pumping for weeks. 

But at last Number Four crew tired of this mischief in 


the country, and he began to cast about for something 
more exciting to do. So one night he loaded himself 
with water and rolled into the City o' Ligg. 

He drew up before a little two-story house that was 
not painted, but only whitewashed, and began to squirt 
water all over her. The poor little house shut her doors 
and windows, but even then she was drenched to the 
skin, and after an hour or so, almost all her whitewash 
was soaked off, and she stood, cold, dripping, and shiver- 
ing in the night air, with her naked boards streaked with 
white. The naughty fire engine laughed brutally at her 
distress, and went back to the lake to concoct more mis- 

Every night, after that, Number Four went into the 
town and drenched the houses, laughing, as he poured 
streams of cold water down their chimneys, breaking 
their windows, washing away their foundations, and 
splashing them all over with muddy water. 

At last it o^ot to be altogether too much to endure, and 

o o 

the houses consulted together to see how Number Four 


could be caught and punished. They could think of no 
way, however, and so, after the fire engine had showered 


a very old and respectable church, and had given him a 
severe cold, they applied to the telegraph office to help 

The telegraph office was by far the cleverest building 
in the City o' Ligg, but it took him some time to think 
of a remedy for this trouble. He consulted, by wire, with 
all the offices around Ligg, and at last they decided upon 
a plan. 

Notice was sent out to all the telegraph poles to strip 
off their wires and come into Li^o- for further orders. 

o o 

The next day the houses were surprised to see a proces- 
sion of long, naked telegraph poles march into town, 
each with a roll of \vire on its arm. They marched up to 
the telegraph office that night and received their instruc- 

As soon as it was dark, the poles separated this way 
and that, going, -some to one part of the town, and some 
to another, till the whole city was surrounded. For 
several hours, while the houses slept in peace, the poles 
worked, going in and out with the wires till they had 
woven a fence all round the town. At the principal en- 
trances, they left the streets free for the fire engine to get 
in ; but they contrived big Y-shaped traps here and there, 
which could be closed by th-e poles at a moment's notice. 
It was by this time twelve o'clock, the hour when Number 


Four usually appeared, and when all the town was quiet 
the poles waited for the bad engine to come. 

At last they heard tUe rumble of wheels on the road 
from the lake, and in the dark they saw a bright light 
approaching; it was the fire in the naughty engine, -who 
was puffing his way into the town, chuckling to himself 
over the fun he was to have with the Town Hall that 
nio-ht ; for he had planned to fill the whole of the third 


story with water before he came back. 

Number Four came up to the city gate, with no sus- 
picion of what was awaiting him, and boldly rolled up the 
main avenue, past the double line. of sleeping houses. 
There was one house that was snoring with a rough noise, 
and the fire engine turned with a lautrh and sent a stream 

o * 

of water through its window. 

Suddenly the telegraph poles closed round him ; they 
waved and towered over his head, they lay on the ground 
across his road, they threatened to fall upon him. The 
poor engine was terrified out of his senses. He backed 
and jumped, he whistled and groaned, and lie spouted a 
black column of smoke out of his funneljan-d sent streams 
of water in every direction. Suddenly, seeing an open- 
ing, he darted back toward the crate, but he soon found 

o 7 > 

himself wallecl in by the wire fences. He tried another 
way and another, but thrre was no escape ; the wires 


hemmed him in on all sides, till finally he was stuck so fast 
that he could not move, and he stood panting, waiting to 
see what would happen next. 

His wheels were tied, and his fires put out, and the 
next morning the poor shame-faced engine was pulled 
into town past the lines of houses, who jeered at him 


scornfully. He was led into the Park in the centre of the 
City o' Ligg, and there, where all the principal buildings 
could see, he was severely scolded by the Mayor. 

It was a long lecture, telling the whole story of his 
wickedness, and ending with the sentence that was to be 
inflicted upon him as a punishment. One by one they 


took off his bright red and gold wheels, they took off his 
pole, and whifHe-trees, his seat-cushions, and tool-box, 
and then they dug a deep hole in the middle of the Park, 
by the side of a well, put him in, covered him with dirt, 
and sodded over the burial place. 

And so, now, when the tourist in the City o' Ligg 
compliments the Mayor upon the beautiful fountain that 
plays night and day in the middle of the Park, sending 
up a straight stream of water a hundred feet in the air, 
the Mayor says : 

" Oh, yes ; quite so, quite so ! That is the naughty 
fire engine, little Number Four, working out his time 
of punishment. He was put in for twenty years, but if 
he behaves well, we're eoincr to let him out in nineteen !" 

c> o 


THE City o' Ligg scarcely needed any defenses, for 
the town was certainly quite able to take care of himself, 
with so many spirited inhabitants, but for all that there 
was a fort, with extensive earthworks, on the river side. 
In the fort lived two dozen cannon, and very ferocious 
guns they were. There were a dozen more field-pieces 
mounting guard in the earthworks, and it was this battery 
that once made a good deal of trouble. 

Perhaps the guns were not altogether at fault, after all, 
but they certainly went crazy and did much damage. It 
was partly the Mayor's fault, for, being of an economical 
turn of mind, he decided to feed them with cobble stones, 
to save the expense of iron cannon balls. 

It was not long before one of the largest guns fell ill, 
and he insisted that cobble stones disagreed with him. 
Very little attention was paid to him, for he was well 


known to be a grumbler; but when, one after the other, 
all the rest of the cannon refused to eat more cobble 
stones, and lay about the fortifications, wheezing and 
sneezing and coughing, it was plainly to be seen that 
something must be clone about it. 

The whole battery was sent to be treated at the fort, 
where it lay about, groaning and barking, in great agony. 
Red-hot cannon balls and shells did no o-ood whatever. 


The guns swallowed tons and tons of powder, which 
were rammed down their throats with ramrods, but it 
seemed to be of no use, and the little caissons who waited 
on them and nursed them grew very much alarmed. One 
or two of the cannon blew up one night, with a loud, 
terrifying report, while in a violent fit of coughing. 

At last, unable to stand the agony any longer, one of 
the field-pieces got up and wheeled down to the magazine, 
to see if he couldn't find something that would ease his 
pain, and there he discovered, in one corner, a large pile 
of dynamite sticks. He tried one, and it tasted sweet 
and fresh. "At any rate," he said to himself, " whether 
these are good for me or not, they can't be worse than cob- 
ble stones, and they taste much better, so I might as well 
die happily. I'm going to eat all I can !" 

So he ate a dozen or more sticks of dynamite, and then 
went up to the hospital and told the other guns about it. 


They all became much excited at the news, and resolved 
to do the same. " Who knows, it may do us good ! " 
they cried. 

So they all went down into the magazine, and began 
to eat dynamite. By and by they began to feel very 
queer. The youngest and smallest guns began to prance 
around the room in their carriages, and yell in loud, coarse 
voices. The older ones were not affected so soon, but 
after a while, they, too, began to feel very gay and*silly, 
so that before long there was such a riot in the magazine 
that the mortars thought the place had exploded, and 
waddled away for their lives, 

" Let's go into the town!" cried one of the cannon, 
and the words were no sooner out of his mouth, than the 
whole battery of them echoed, " Let's go into the town ! " 
So they formed a disorderly procession, and rolling and 
wheeling in confusion, shouting and screaming, bumping 
and falling, they raced into town. By this time, it is 
needless to say, they were stark, staring mad ! 

At the City gate they fired a heavy salute, and then 
broke in with a yell. An old omnibus rolled up to them 
to see what was the matter, but when he saw the battery 
he took to his wheels and scuttled off. The guns began 
firing shots at him at short range, and drove him back, in 
great alarm, to tell the awful news. 


The cannon now began firing at everything in sight. 
They shot the weathercocks off the church steeples ; they 
shot patterns of ball-holes in the front of the town hall ; 
they broke windows with grape, and they ploughed up 
the streets with canister. They tossed shells into the 
shops, and they blew the roofs off dwelling houses. They 
set fire to barns and stables, and they pounded the piers 
of the bridges to pieces. They blew up the sidewalks 
with shrapnel, and cut down all the trees in the Park close 
to their roots. Meanwhile, they were smoking and swear- 
ing horribly, while they loaded themselves with fur)-. 

It was a terrible time for the inhabitants of the City o' 
LieSf ! The town had not been so lively since the fire 

O O ' 

engine ran away. By morning, when the exhausted 
artillery had fallen asleep in the Park, there was not a 
human being in the City, for all had run away to the 
woods. Here the Mayor held a great mass meeting to 
see what could be done to prevent a continuation of the 
nio-ht's outrage. But no one had anything effective to 

O O rf O 

propose, for no one dared to enter the town to do any- 
thing. If it kept up much longer, the houses would 
surely run away, and then where would be the City o' 

Ligg ? 

But there was a little boy there, named Yak, who was 

very valourous. He was the same who once tamed a 


frightfully furious railway train, and though he was very 
little, he was a great friend of the Mayor. 

" I think I can do it," he said, " and all I want is a 

So the Mayor gave him a hammer and his blessing, 
and Yak went all alone into the City o' Ligg. 

It was nine o'clock in the morning, and the fieldpieces 
were still sound asleep, in the middle of the Park, by the 
fountain. They were snoring in a terrible manner, and 
all around the houses were trembling as if there were an 
earthquake on foot, for they were dreading the waking of 
the artillery. Some of the houses had already begun to 
move. The streets looked as if they had been deserted 
for one hundred and fifty-two years. 

Yak, tightly clasping his hammer in his hand, stealthily 
approached the mad battery, which was sprawling in 
great confusion on the grass. Almost all the guns had 
gone to sleep in their carriages, but there were a few 
who had dismounted, and lay upon the ground. The 
little boy made his way carefully amongst them, and 
stepped up to the largest gun. With a single stroke he 
knocked off its sights, rendering the piece totally blind. 
Before he had quite awakened Yak was out of harm's 
way, and had attacked another cannon. The first was 
now thoroughly aroused, and, wild with pain and rage, 
began to fire away blindly, right and left, 



It was a dangerous ordeal, but Yak's courage did not 
once desert him. He ran from one gun to another 
while they were still drowsy with dynamite, and finally 
succeeded in knocking the sights off them all, except the 
three upon the ground. He dragged their carriages 
away from them, so that they could not turn round, but 
would have to fire only in one direction. As by this time 

they were the only ones who could see, they were in a 
ferocious rage, and implored their comrades to shoot the 
boy. But as the others could not aim, the)'' sent cannon 
balls in every direction but the right one. 

The fury of the battery was now awful. It fired right 
and left and into the air, hoping that some of the balls 
might fallen Yak. It made a most frightful banging, and 
the City was soon filled with clouds of smoke. 


Yak's work, however, was not yet done. Alone and 
single-handed, at the risk of his life, he dragged the 
carriages this way and that and tied them down. His 
plan was to range them in two opposite ro\vs so that 
they would shoot each other to little pieces. In this he 
was at last successful. One after another the guns 
were dismounted. As soon as one was left alone in the 
duel Yak spiked it, driving a nail into the touch-hole, till 
by noontime every gun was silenced or destroyed. 

When the inhabitants at last dared to venture into the 
City o' Ligg, they found little Yak sitting on a gun 
carriage smiling, but so dirty that the Mayor hardly knew 
him. His face was black with gunpowder and smoke, 
and the only white things about him were his teeth and 
his eyeballs. 

The Mayor of the City o' Ligg never tried to be 
economical after that. 




THERE was once, in the City o' Ligg, a splendid, vain- 
glorious hansom cab, with a blue body and yellow wheels. 
It was fitted up in the very best taste, having once been 
a private hansom, when it used to be driven by a coach- 
man in livery. Now that it was only a hackney carriage, 
licensed to carry two persons, and with an ugly, white 
tariff list of charges fastened to its dashboard, it was in a 
perpetual state of dissatisfaction. 

. " To think that I should have to carry Tom, Dick, and 
Harry ! " it said to itself. " I, who have been a private 
carriage ! I'll show them that I still have spirit !" And 
it fairly jounced with indignation. 

It used to misbehave itself so, that at last its driver 
hardly dared to drive it. The hansom would back and 
wheel, and toss him off his box, and behave in many 


other disagreeable ways, so that the poor cabby had hard 
work in getting a fare. Ever)' one shunned the blue han- 
som with yellow wheels, for the story of its pranks had 
spread over the Cityo' Ligg, and people said that such an 
ill-tempered cab was not safe. 

The driver's trade fell off so that he decided to dis- 
guise the cab ; so he sent it to a coach painter, and had it 
all painted as black as a beetle. When it came out again, 
all shiny with varnish, the hansom was so furious that, 
when they harnessed the horse in between the shafts, its 
lanterns flashed with raofe. 


All of a sudden, just as the driver was mounting the 
little seat behind, the hansom exerted all its strength, 


bent its shafts almost to the ground, and then with a terri- 


ble jerk threw them upward, breaking the traces, and 
tossed the horse a hundred feet hi Mi into the air ! 


The enraged driver took his whip and beat the cab 
unmercifully, but, of course, that clicl no good. The cab 
chased him all round the stable yard and came near pin- 
ning him against the fence. It clapped its little doors 
together and spun around in circles till the cabby yelled 
for help. 

An old green omnibus rolled up to the stable and 
wanted to know what was the matter. After the driver 
had told him, the omnibus said : " Oh, I know how to fix 


him! I've seen horrid hansoms before, and, as for that, 
they're all a pretty bad lot, these two-wheelers ; one can 
never depend on them. You see, they have no brakes, 
and they're always letting their tempers run away with 
them. But the thing for you to clo is to harness your 
horse in backwards^ then the cab can't do anything at 
all ! " But the omnibus did not notice that this hansom 
was one of the very few that have windows in the back ; 
that makes a good deal of difference in a hansom cab, for 
then it can see behind it. 

The driver thanked the omnibus very politely for his 
advice, and got twenty men to hold his cab while he 
harnessed another horse into the shafts, putting the head 
of the animal where its tail ought to be facing the dash- 
board. The cab seemed by this time to be as gentle a 
vehicle as ever rolled on wheels. It was as quiet as a 
wheelbarrow, but it was a sly, 'cute hansom, and it was 
waiting for a good chance to get away. 

It was a remarkable sight, when the cabby drove out 
of the stable yard, and the twenty men yelled with joy to 
see the hansom going backwards, pushed by a bewildered 
horse, and the driver in the little box, up in the front of 
the carriage, with the reins stretching out behind him. 

o> o 

But he got along better than he had expected, hard as it 
was to steer around corners in this queer way. 


Very few persons dared to try to ride in such an equi- 
page, however, and by noontime the driver became very 
much discouraged, and started for home. Now it was 
very foolish of him to attempt to drive down hill with the 
cab before the horse, in this way, but he did not stop to 
think of the clanger, and, before he knew it, he was on a 
heavy down grade. 

This was just what the cab had been waiting for. It 
opened the window in its back, which was now its front, 
and, drawing a long breath, it clashed forward with tre- 
mendous speed, dragging the horse behind it so fast that 
the poor creature could hardly keep his feet on the 
ground, and was swept through the air in great, undigni- 
fied jumps. 

In vain the driver shouted for help. He tried to get 
down from the box, but he dared not risk a fall, so he 
clung to his seat with both hands, in terror, jolted to one 
side and the other as the hilarious hansom flew down the 
hill faster and faster. The cab was running away with 
him, and he dared not think what was going to happen 

The road at the bottom of the hill crossed a wide river 
by a stone bridge. Just before the runaway reached 
this the cab sheered suddenly to the left, nearly throw- 
ing off the shrieking, terrified driver, and, with a tremen- 


dous bound, jumped the wall at the side of the road, and 
plunged into the river. 

The driver thought that the hansom could go no fur- 
ther, and he was preparing to dive into the water and 
swim for the shore, when the cab wheels began to revolve 
like paddle wheels with great velocity, and, churning the 
water into a froth of foam and bubbles, they sailed up 
the stream at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, like a new 
sort of steamboat. 

Once sure they could navigate the stream with safety, 
the driver gave up all thought of escaping, and decided 
to see the adventure out. He turned his attention to the 
horse, who also seemed to be beginning to enjoy the 
trip. He had become very hot with such terrific exercise, 
and the bath was very refreshing, especially as he did not 
have to swim, but allowed himself to be towed along by 
the paddle cab, his tail streaming out behind. 

Hours passed, and still they sailed up the river. At 
last, however, they could go no further, for a dam blocked 
the way. The cab floated around below the mill pond 
for a while, as if lost in thought, and then, heading for 
the bank, climbed upon the ground again, shook itself like 
a dog, and proceeded towards the mill. 

It was a small mill, and a rather pretty one, with a 
flashing red wheel spattering the waters of the mill race 



in every direction. This wheel seemed to fascinate the 
hansom cab. It gazed and gazed, and after a while the 
driver heard it say to itself : 

"Ah, I, too, was once beautiful, when I had a blue 
body and yellow wheels ! Now, I am all of a gruesome 
black, as ugly as a hearse ! How I wish I could have 
those wheels ; red ones are not nearly so pretty as yellow, 
but they are much better than black !" 

So saying, the cab approached the mill, which was so 
busy orindino- corn that it had not noticed the strangers. 

J O o O 

" Hello ! " cried the hansom cab. 

The mill did not stop for a little while, but it said, 
" Hello yourself !" 

" What will you take for your wheels?" enquired the 

The mill stopped how, opened its windows, and looked 
at the hansom. " What'll you give ?" it said. 

" I tell you what I'll do," said the cab. " I'll exchange 
with you even ; my wheels have rubber tyres, and they're 
remarkably easy on the axles ! " 

The mill was silent awhile, and looked the cab all over, 
from shafts to roof. Then it winked one shutter, and 
said, " All right, I'll go you. You sit down beside me, 
here, by the mill race, where I can hand them to you." 

So the mill moved alonor a little, and made room for 


the hansom, which sat down and took off its wheels. 
Then the mill took off its own wheels, and put the han- 
som's on slowly, so that the cab should be ready first. 

The cab looked very pleased as it tried on the red mill 
wheels, and spun them around merrily ; but they would 
only go round one way. 

" See here," it cried, " these are no good ; give me mine 
back, will you ! " 


But it was too late. As soon as the mill saw its wheels 
on the cab, it slipped on the rubber-tyred wheels, and was 
up and off in an instant. The last thing the hansom saw 
of the mill it was disappearing in the forest a half mile 

And, to its dismay, the hansom found that the paddle 
wheels not only would not go backwards, but they 
wouldn't stop to allow it to take them off, but kept spin- 
ning and spinning round, till the miller came along, and 
filled the poor captive cab full of corn, and set it grinding 
the mill's grist. And there the hansom cab had to stay 
for the rest of its life, grinding corn year in and year out. 

The miller helped the cabby to unhitch the horse from 
the shafts, and was told the whole story of the vainglori- 
ous hansom. 

" Well," said the miller, as the driver got astride his 
horse, ready to ride home to the City o' Ligg, " I expect 
it will serve the hansom right for having been so proud 
and vain ! " 



ON the railway that ran through the City o' Ligg theie 
was once an English-made locomotive \vho was always 
discontented and grumbling. Nothing in the world was 
good enough for him ; or, at least, nothing in the 
City o' Ligg. 

His coal was too hard or too soft; it was never just 
right. He hated to pull passenger trains because he had 
to go so fast, and he didn't like to pull freight trains be- 
cause they were too heavy. He was always complaining 
that he was out of order, so that he might stay in the 
Round House, and not work. He would shut himself 
on sidings in hopes he might be forgotten ; he was afraid 
to go over bridges, for fear they would break down ; and 
he hated tunnels because they were so dark and cold. 
He thought iron rails were too soft to net o"ood hold on, 

O O O 


and he said that steel rails were altogether too slippery. 
Sometimes he declared that he wouldn't run where there 
were not modern metal ties, and at other times he 
asserted that the old-fashioned wooden sleepers made a 
much better road-bed. He quarrelled with his tender, 
and he refused to be coupled up to one that he didn't 
fancy. He snorted and hissed at the semaphores and 
point signals, and he \vas a nuisance to the railway in 
more \vays than can be told. 

But if he \vere bad, there was a young steamboat on the 
river who was worse. She was a very pretty craft, but 
that was no reason why she should insist on having a 
new set of paddle-wheels every year. She was absurdly 
particular about her funnel, and if it were not painted the 
exact colour that she fancied, she would declare that she 
would scuttle herself. She would roll and pitch with 
anger if the)' tried to back her. She would dig up the 
muddy bottom of the river with her paddles, and she gave 
a deal of trouble about steering. 


When these two ill-natured creatures came tog-ether at 


the dock in the river, below the fortifications, they used 
to complain to each other till the cannon above them 
would cry, " Oh, I say \ >: and the bridge told them that 
they ought to be ashamed of themselves. 

One day, after the steamboat had been carrying a load 


of noisy excursionists up from the harbour, she found the 
locomotive on the pier in a very gloomy state of mind. 

"I'm not going to stand this any longer!" he said. 
" They've put me to hauling coal, and it's no work for a 
machine like me, especially when I can't burn any of it 
myself. I'm going to run away !" 

" Well, that's a good idea ; suppose I go with you, and 
we'll set out together to seek our fortunes!" said the 

They talked it all over, and finally decided to start that 
very night. The steamboat was to help the locomotive 
on the water, and the locomotive was to help the steamboat 
on the land. They were to share their wood and coal 
and water together, and have a jolly good time as long- 
as they could. 

At midniirht the locomotive <rot on board the boat, and 

*_> o 

she steamed softly up the river. " This is fun ! " said the 

" It's all right for you," said the boat ; " but I must say 
you're heavier than I thought. Wait till it's your turn to 
give me a ride. I can't go very much farther, anyway, 
the water is ^ettincr shallow There's a clam up above 

O O * 

here, so I think we'd better go ashore now." 

She climbed up the bank with the locomotive's assist- 
ance, and he then hoisted her up on top of his cab, and 


set out across the fields. She was a little boat, but she 
was heavy, and the locomotive puffed away with all his 
might through the grass, stopping to rest once in a while. 
So they went on for several days, turn and turn about, 
for they had to cross several lakes on their way. 

After awhile they began to approach a line of hills, 
and the ground grew steeper and steeper, till at last the 
locomotive could cro no farther with the steamb >at on his 


back. So she got off and scrambled along tor a few 
miles with her paddle-wheels while the locomotive 
pushed her from behind. But the time came when they 
could neither of them go a step farther, and they lay on 
the ground exhausted. To make matters worse, they 

d? ^ 

grew short of water and fuel. They cut clown their 
rations to a ton of coal and a barrel of water a day, and 
even then they didn't have enough to take them back to 
either a forest or a lake. 

It seemed likely that they would have to perish there 
on the hillside, and they quarrelled with each other 
peevishly, each accusing the other of being at fault for 
suggesting this terrible journey. The old river Wob 
and the railway of the City o' Ligg had never seemed so 
pleasant before, but, alas ! it was many clays' journey 

Just as they had begun to think that all hope was 


gone, one of them espied a dot in the sky. It grew 
slowly larger and larger. 

" It is a balloon! ' they cried together, and they both 
began to blow their whistles with all the strength of the 
little steam that was left in their boilers. 

The balloon came nearer and nearer, till it had eot 


within hailing distance, and then they saw it was laugh- 
ing almost hard enough to split its sides. It was a very 
fat, pink, round balloon, and as it shook with merriment, 
its basket swung wildly above them. 

" Well, I declare ! ' it cried out, " this is the queerest 
thing I ever saw ! What in the world are you two doing 
away up in these mountains? I never saw a locomotive 
or a steamboat on top of a hill before ! ' 

"For heaven's sake, please clon't laugh like that," 
cried the steamer ; " but come and help us, before we 
perish ! " 

The balloon finally consented to give them assistance 
over the mountains, and let clown a rope, which the two 
tied around their waists. The balloon then rose, and the 
locomotive and steamboat were hoisted high in the air, 
and they all sailed away towards the East, across the 
range of mountains. They had floated for a half a day 
in this way, when the balloon gave a pull up, a little 
harder than usual, and the rope suddenly broke ! 


Down went the two, falling faster and faster through 


the air, and they both thought that their last moment 
had come. But by good luck they happened to fall in 

the middle of a large forest, and landed safely in a great 
oak tree, without breaking a piece of machinery. 

Yet they had, after all, escaped one clanger only to fall 
into another. They were lost in an immense wilderness, 
and did not know in which direction to turn. The loco- 


motive finally succeeded in climbing- a tall tree, and 
made out smoke rising- in the distance. 

To this they painfully made their way, and, after a ter- 
rible struggle, they drew near rusty, scratched, and 
smoky and came to an old saw-mill by the side of a little 
stream. It was a hideous old mill, of a villainous aspect, 
that alarmed them both. But here was their only hope, 
and though they were far from any assistance in case of 
danger, the two unfortunate machines found themselves 


obliged to apply to the mill for shelter and fuel. 

The mill welcomed them very hospitably, but there 
was something in his dusty, oily manner that the loco- 
motive did not trust, and he resolved to stay awake and 
watch. The little, delicate steamboat was, by this time, 
too exhausted to notice anything. After they had 
drunk many barrels of water each, they revived a little, 
and the mill offered them a few tons of sawdust, which, 
he said, was the only fuel he could give them. At the 
first trial the steamer whispered to the locomotive that it 
tasted qtieerly, but they decided that it was only the oil 
in which it was soaked. At any rate, they had to eat 
that or nothing, and they made a meal of it without 
more ado. 

Hardly had they burned the last mouthful, however, 
before they both fell into a heavy sleep, and knew noth- 


ing for many hours. The locomotive was awakened by 
a sudden horrible pain, and he was terrified to find the 
teeth of a buzz-saw cutting through his side. He sprang 
up with a roar of agony, but it was too late ; his left hind 
wheel had been bitten off ! He charged furiously at the 
sides of the mill, and tore open a great hole, then 
draped out the steamboat, and ran her into the forest 

O O 

as fast as his five wheels could carry him. The mill 
screamed and shrieked after them as they hurried away. 

As they stood trembling in the forest, and thanked 
their stars for such a narrow escape, a sudden glare of 
light attracted their attention. The mill was on fire, set, 
no doubt, from some sparks dropped by the locomotive 
in its terrible struggle for escape. 

By the light of the burning mill they made their way 
through the forest all nio'ht. With new fuel and water 

O O 

their strength had been partially renewed, and terror 
increased their efforts. 

In the morning, after a short sleep, they awoke to find 
themselves by the side of a wide river, to which they had 
hobbled during the night, but had not seen in the dark. 
Alongside the bank of the stream ran a beautiful, level 
railway line. They looked and looked, hardly able to 
believe their windows. It was too fjood to be true ! 


It did not take them lon^ to decide what to do. The 


little steamboat gave one leap into the river, and whistled 
lono- and merrily. The locomotive crawled on to the 

o J 

line, and rang its bell in a joyous peal. Eor they knew 
by the looks of the country that they had been travelling 
in a huge semi-circle, and that the river and the railway 
led directly into the City o' Ligg. 

So they steamed along, side by side, together, the 
lame locomotive and the sorrowful, shamefaced steam- 
boat. That clay one laid her head at last alongside the 
dock, and one puffed timidly into the station ; both 
decided never to complain of any work that they should 
have to do in the future. 



THERE was a bold, boisterous little brig- that came up 
the river Wob to the City o' Ligg twice a year, with 
a cargo of confectionery from foreign ports. Every 
June and every November she entered the harbour, 
waved her flag at the light-house on the island, gave 
her bow to the tu^ who came down to escort her up- 

o - 1 - 

stream, and, after twisting through the curly channel for a 
day, cast her anchor, and lay in the river, just off the rail- 
way pier, below the fortifications. 

But this was all she ever saw of the lively City o' Ligg. 
There were but a few houses visible, and the spire of a 
church beyond, from whose belfry the chimes called out a 
welcome to her whenever she came to port ; but the little 
brig had, of course, never seen the Town Hall, nor the 
Post Office, nor any of the wonderful buildings she had 
heard so much about. 

1 20 THE L I V E L Y CITY O ' L I G G . 

Now, the last time the brig came to Ligg she found a 
steam-roller o-oino- back and forth on the new road by the 

o o J 

railway pier, and whenever he stopped work she used to 
gossip with him about the sights of the city. He was a 
lazy old thing, was the steam-roller, and so fat and heavy 
that he could scarcely puff up and down over the gravel 
on the new road. It took too much effort for him to turn 
round when he had to return to the pier, and so he used 
to stop and then crawl backwards. Indeed, it would have 
taken as much room for him to have turned round in 
as would have been necessary for the brig herself. 

" You're a queer old catamaran," said the saucy brig to 
him one day ; " you ought to go to sea, where there's 
plenty of room to turn around." 

" I'd like to, sure, " said the steam roller. " They say 
the roads are pretty rough and lumpy in the ocean. I 
should think that they would need a deal of rolling !" 

" Oh, we can all roll ourselves," said the bright brig 

" Really, I'd like to go," continued the roller. <l I'm 
tired of this everlasting up and clown, and back and forth, 
to and fro, forward and back, and all. Always in the 
mud, too ! I'm positively filthy with this slime. I'd like 
to O in swimming and eret clean ! I believe I will ! Do 

O O O 

you think I could swim ? I never tried." 

"Of course you could !" said the bad brig. " It's as 


easy as rolling ! Go on in ! " and she smiled behind her 

The stupid steam-roller, at this mischievous encourage- 
ment, started for the bank and rushed down with a rattle 
and slam, and after a short run brought up short, stuck 
fast in the thick mud at the edere of the water. Here he 


puffed and snorted, and great beads of water dripped 
from his round boiler in the effort to move, but it was of 
no use, he was mired. "Oh, help ! Jielp / I'm stuck ! " he 
cried. . 

The briu moved over a little nearer and looked at him and 


laughed. " Well, well ! " she said. "You do look like a pig 
in a pen ! How are you ever going to get out, Roly ?" 
Then, after watchingf his struo^les for awhile, an idea 

O O O 

occurred to her. " I'll tell you what I'll do. If you'll take 
me into town, and show me the sights, I'll hoist you out 
of the mud and put you on the road again." 

" All right," said the roller, glad of any chance to 
escape. So the brig set her topsails, and crept up to the 
edge of the stream, and then dipped her bowsprit under 
the wheel of the steam-roller, and pushed, and lifted, and 
pushed, till she got the machine up the bank again, and 
upon the roadway. It was no easy matter, however, and 
by the time the roller was back in place, the bow of the 
brig was aground. She passed him a cable then, and, 


makino- it fast to the roller's boiler, she told him to <>o 

O O 


The steam-roller pulled and pulled, and tugged and 
strained, till the brig feared that the rope would part, but 

she was gradually moved out of the water, up the bank, 
and finally reached the new road. 

"Ugh !" she said. "It hurts, rather, but I don't care; 
I'm bound to see this City o' Ligg I've heard so much 
about; so go ahead, Roly, and warp me up to the Park." 

They started for the city, the roller purring, hissing, and 


rattling, and the keel of the brig scraping along the 
gravel road, lurching this way and that, poking her mast 
heads through the windows of the houses occasionally, 
and catching her yards in the lamp posts. Altogether 
they made a great hullabaloo, and all the cabs, omnibuses, 
and street-cars in town came rolling up to see what was 
the matter. They jeered at the steam-roller with great 
glee, for they had never seen him work so hard. He 
usually was seen leisurely smoking and waddling slowly 
up and down the street, stopping to rest after every trip, 
like a fat Dutchman promenading a piazza after break- 

"Go it, Roly!" they cried; and so the brig was 
followed by a great crowd to the Town Hall. Here the 
roller stopped to get his breath. " This is the Park," he 
said ; " really, this is all there is worth seeing in the city. 
Don't you want to go back now ?" 

" Not much !" said the brig, who was enjoying herself 
thoroughly. <l I want to see the whole town. Let's go 
up Queer-street ! " The vessel pointed up a little road 
off the Common. 

The steam-roller grumbled a c^ood deal at this, but did 

o o 

not dare to refuse, and so they plunged up Queer-street, 
the brig rolling and pitching as if in a heavy gale, and the 
indignant houses, who had never seen a vessel before in 


their lives, expostulating at the way she scraped the 
paint off their faces and broke their windows. 

Now, not far from the church by the Park, Queer-street 
makes a turn at nearly right angles, and when they got 
to this point, it was impossible to get the brig round the 
corner, and she stuck fast, jammed in between the houses 
on either side of the street, being able to go neither for- 
ward or back. 

" Now how are you going to get out ? " said the steam- 
roller. " It's all your fault, for you would come up Queer- 
street. I can't pull you any farther ! " 

There was a house being built behind the telegraph 
office, and there was a huge scaffolding, with a platform 
and a tall derrick on top. The derrick swung its arm 
round over Queer-street, and it cried, "What's the 
matter down there ? What in the world is that ship 
doing in the City, anyway ?" 

" I'm not a ship ; I'm a brig," said the vessel. " Don't 
you see that I have only two masts ? I wonder that I 
have any left at all, after this tight squeeze; it's worse 
than beinsf caught in the ice ! " 

o o 

" Oh, I'll lift you out," said the derrick, good-humou redly, 
much amused at seeing a sailing vessel on such very dry 
land. "See here, you pass this rope around your waist, 
and I'll get you out." 


So the brig tied the rope round her hull, and the der- 
rick lifted her bodily out of Queer-street, and then, 
swinoqno- round, lowered her o-ently into the main street 

o o o J 

again, opposite the Park. Meanwhile, the lazy steam- 
roller, seeing that, in the excitement, he was not observed, 
rumbled away, and got back to the new road by the river 
as fast as he could. 

The brig was now high and dry in the middle of the 
main street, blocking the traffic, and unable to move an 
inch, for none of the motor cars was half strong enough 
to pull her out of the way. This* would never do, how- 
ever, and all the vehicles in town protested against the 
obstruction. The trains were blocked in a line nearly a 
mile long, when the little boy named Yak came along. 

" Why don't you get out of the road, brig ?" said Yak. 
"You've no business lying here in the fairway !" 

" There's wind enough " said the brier " but the water 

o O * 

is too shallow ! I'm hard ao-round ! ' 


Then Yak went to see the Mayor. " I'll get the brig 
out of the road, if you'll order all the lamp posts in town 
to help me," he said. 

" All right," said the Mayor, and he made out the order. 
When all the lamp posts were assembled in the Park, Yak 
had their lamps removed, and led them along the street, 
and made them lie down in the middle of the road, the 


first one directly under the brig's cut-water, and the 
others along down the street as far as the river. 

Yak then boarded the brig and helped her set her sails. 
When her canvas was all unfurled he cried to the motor 
cars behind to push as hard as they could. The brig 
moved forward and soon touched the first lamp post which 
rolled under her keel, and after that she went forward 
easily, under full sail with a fair wind, down the main 
street of the City o' Ligg. 

The lamp posts made a great outcry at this, and whined 
dismally ; but, of course, being of cast iron, they were not 
really hurt at all. Now, Yak had laid them in the road 
very carefully, ten pointing to the right and the next ten 
pointing to the left, head to head, or, rather, where their 
heads would have been if the lamps had not been 
removed. In this way, the posts being larger round at 
one end than the other, the brig sailed forward in curves, 
first to port and then to starboard, as if she were tacking 
and beating against a head wind. As she zigzagged 
down the street all the windows waved their curtains at 
her, and the motor cars in her wake set up a hilarious 
toot-tooting. There had never such a cray siinit been seew 

o o J o 

on the streets of the lively City o' Ligg. 

But there was one thiner that Yak had forgotten. He 

o o 

had laid the posts along the main street to the river very 


cleverly, but he had not remembered that it was above 
the bridge, and so, when the brig, amid the cheers of the 
waggons and motor cars, took her triumphant plunge into 
the stream and, happy to feel again the soft, cool splashing 
of the water along her keel, set off gaily towards the 
harbour, she brought up, bang ! against the old bridge and 
nearly lost her foretopmast ! It was no use, she could 
never get down the river to the sea a^ain. 

o o 

And so there the bothersome little brig remains, a cap- 
tive in the river Wob, like an insane lioness, a prisoner in 
the caee of a menagerie, sailing back and forth all day 

o o < > 

long, from one year's end to another. 


THERE had always been a good deal of gossip about 
the little white house with the green blinds, ever since 
she had moved to the City o' Ligg. A great many of 
the buildings were distrustful of her, and they whispered 
all sorts of things to each other. 


To be sure, the little house had always behaved with 
the greatest propriety, but there was much comment upon 
the fact that site had 110 stable, which the buildings 
regarded as suspicious ! There had once been a stable 
where she stood, but it had mysteriously disappeared 
lonof aero. 

o o 

Besides this, none of the other houses knew exactly 
where she had come from. She replied, vaguely, "From 
the country," when any of the buildings asked her directly, 
but this was undoubtedly an evasion. It was, moreover, 


not easy to question the demure little white house with 
the LI' re en blinds, for she had a way of making the others 

o J O 

think that perhaps it was none of their business, after all. 
But when, one morning, the houses woke up and found 
that the little house, who had been white the day before, 
had turned blue, there was great excitement among the 
buildings of the City o' Lio-<j. None of them dared ask 

o J o c> 

her the reason why she had changed her coat, nor how 
she had done it so quickly, but the houses fairly hummed 
with gossip, and the story was told from one street to an- 
other. That happened on Monday morning, and they 
were still more surprised when, on Tuesday morning, they 
found the little house was yellow! 

Surely something must be done about it, and so an old 
baker's shop asked her to explain how and why she had 
changed colour durinq; the niirht. The little house 

o o o 

treated the shop very politely, but only said : 

" Upon my word, I honestly have no idea how the 

thing happened ! I went to sleep quite as usual, and 

when I woke up in the morning I was a different colour. 

If you can explain it, I'd be very glad to know myself ! " 
The houses all scoffed at the idea of her beinir so inno- 


cent. Of course she knew all about it, and she ought to 
be exposed, for it would not do to let such a scandal go 
on ! So they sent to the Police Station and complained 


of the little house, and that night she was carefully 
watched by a very respectable old Church. 

At midnight the Church saw the little house o-Jve a 

o o 

shudder, and move uneasily on her foundations. But 
her windows were blank and without expression ; she 
was undoubtedly asleep ! The little house's door yawned, 
and she slowly began to stir. She crawled down towards 
the rear of the yard, and beeran moving through the Lrar- 

J <_> o o o 

den and across the fields. 

The old Church followed her as she made her way out 
of town into the open country. They came at last to a 
rantre of low hills. The further side of these hills was 


clotted with patches of woods, between which the little 
house went, till at last she came to the shore of a small 
lake of reel paint. 

The Church hid behind a clump of trees and peeped 
out to see what the little house would do next. What 
was his astonishment to'see her sit down on the bank be- 
side the red lake and calmly take off all her doors and all 
her blinds and then plunge into the paint ! Her windows, 
however, were still blank and shut ; there was no doubt 
about it ; the little house was swimming in her sleep ! 

After staying in the red paint for about half an hour, the 
house came on shore a^ain and stood in the moonlight, 

_> o 

all reel and dripping. When she had dried, she put on 


her blinds and- doors, smoothed down her slates, and pro- 
ceeded home, followed by the astounded Church. 

The next day he told the Post Office the whole story, 
and they consulted together as to what should be done 
about the matter. Surely this sort of thing should not 
be allowed to go on. They decided, therefore, to appeal 
to the Police Station, who directed that a hiirh fence be 


be built around the little house, and that ni^ht all three 


of them sat up to watch. 

At midnight, as before, the little house began to stir. 
She moved over to the fence in the rear of the yard, and 
seemed at first unable to understand what stopped her 
progress. But then she ran against the fence, pushed it 
violently clown, and escaped, followed by the Church, the 
Post Office, and the Police Station. 

Over the hills and through the woods they chased the 
little house, but this time she took a slightly different di- 
rection, which led her finally to a lake of green paint. 
Here the same thing happened as before, to the great 
astonishment and embarrassment of the three spectators. 

So this was how the little house was able to afford a 
different coat of paint every night ! The three buildings 
that watched her would have gone bathing in the lake 
themselves, no doubt, but none of them could swim, at 
least, not while awake ; there is no knowing what they 
might have been able to do in their sleep. 


The next night the little house went to a lake of brown 
paint. By this time the whole City o' Ligg was excited 
about her, and all sorts of rumours were floating around 
the streets and avenues. Some building's said the little 


house was in love with a paint mill, who gave her a new 

coat every night ; but why the house's blinds and doors 
were always green, no one but the Church, the Post Office, 
and the Police Station could explain. 

At last the fact leaked out that the little house was a 


somnambulist, and went a-swimminir in lakes of coloured 


paints, and that night the whole City o' Ligg followed 
her when she started out at midnight. They streamed 
across the fields and hills after her houses, churches, 
stores, shops, inns, factories, public buildings and edifices 
of every description, till where the City o' Ligg had been 
was nothing but one big honeycomb of cellars, and all to 
see a poor little house go swimming! 

This time she led them to a beautiful purple lake, and 
while the thousands of buildings waited upon the bank, 
she took off her doors and took off her blinds, and 
splashed and spattered in the paint, as if she were a hun- 
dred miles from the nearest house, and quite alone in 
the forest ! 

Suddenly in diving she struck something hard on the 
bottom, and feeling for it cauo-ht hold and draped it to 

o o o o 

the surface and pulled it ashore. It was her long-lost 
stable ! 

The stable immediately awoke her, and the thousand 
spectators shook with laughter to see the bewilderment 
of the little house. The two dripping purple buildings, 
however, were too happy to notice the peeping audience 
behind the trees, and they embraced each other with 
touching fondness. They then sat down and, after blow- 
ing the purple paint out of their chimneys, told each 


other the stories of their lives, since they had been 

The buildings on shore became, now, so much 
ashamed of their cruel and unjust suspicions, and so 
affected by the happiness of the little house that, one by 
one, they stole away to the City o' Ligg, and decided not 
to say anything to the little house about their own dis- 
graceful part of the affair. 

And so when the house and her faithful stable returned 
to town and took their old places, no one asked the 
explanation of her new coat or her new stable. There 
they stand to this day, and these loving purple buildings 
are the most respected edifices in the whole of the City o' 



THE flock of balloons who dwelt up in the mountains 
to the North-east o' Ligg was cordially hated by all the 
inhabitants of the City. They were a lazy, useless lot, 
and never did anything but amuse themselves. They 
were all fat, and generally very prosperous, but they 
were by no means intelligent, and the citizens in town 
called them mere " baors of wind.' 


There was one amongst the flock who was particularly 
disliked, for he was almost the only one who ever came 
into town, and when he did it was always for some mis- 
chief. The City clocks used to make faces at him when 
they saw him coming, but he paid them well for that by 
twisting their hands round the wrong. way, till they 
struck all sorts of hours at once. When you heard a 
church chime ring out six bells in the middle of the day, 


you might be sure that the bad balloon was in town, and 
up to his old pranks. 

The balloon, however, preferred tickling big heavy 
churches in the small of their ridgepoles till their steeples 
writhed. When he was not doing that, he was usually 
dropping stones on the roofs, or emptying s mdbags into 
chimneys, and pretending it was only an accident. He 
was very careful not to interfere with the windmills, how- 
ever, for once when he was trying to annoy one she struck 
at him savagely with her arms, and wounded his basket 
so that he didn't dare to come into the City o' Ligg for 
several weeks. 

His tricks became such a nuisance, finally, that -the 
houses insisted that he must be captured. It was hardly 
safe to go to sleep at night, for fear of that bad balloon 
coming round your roof and scratching your tiles the 
wrong way. 

They prevailed upon the Fire Department to try to 
catch him, and the engines tired themselves out squirting 
at the balloon. When, at last, they did succeed in turn- 
ing a stream of water on him, he only laughed at them. 
He was made of oiled silk, and was used to being rained 
on, and didn't mind having a bath in the least. 

The artillery tried next, but they couldn't come any- 
where near hitting him. Besides, the cannon balls that 


they fired into the air had come clown again, and they 
usually came down upon the roofs of the houses, which 
was a orood deal worse than beino- scratched by a com- 

o *-J * 

paratively harmless balloon, or even hit with his drag- 

The houses had given up all hopes of catching the 
balloon, when he got himself into worse trouble than 
they had been able to make for him. He came in one 
day, and was having great fun with the Town Hall, when 
a gust of wind struck him, and blew him past the cupola, 
and, the first thing the balloon knew, he was punctured 
by the weather vane, which tore a great rent in his side. 

The gas slowly oozed out of the silken bag of the 
balloon, and he collapsed and fainted dead away. There 
was great rejoicing among the houses at this. Noth- 
in<>- could have been more fortunate for them, or worse 


for the balloon. A long ladder finally succeeded in get- 
ting him clown from the cupola, and he was left in the 
street until the buildinq-s should decide what to do with 



The balloon recovered his senses late that evening, and 
found himself alone, lying in the street in front of the 
Town Hall. He bewailed his fate bitterly with what 
strength was left him, and thought what a fool he had 
been to come into the town when he might now have been 


playing amongst the clouds and the rainbows high above 
the mountains outside the City o' Ligg ! He tried to 
turn over, but his wound pained him and his basket was 
sore from being thrown down from the cupola. 

He lay there for a while, moaning softly, when it 
seemed to him that he smelled gas somewhere about, and 
this hope immediately revived his spirits. He lifted him- 
self as well as he could and looked about him. Only a 
few feet away from where he was lying he saw a great hole 
in the street. He crawled over to this and looked in. 
What was his excitement to see down in the hole a gas- 
pipe that .was being repaired ! 

He Ot his basket and his anchor down into the hole 


and worked away with all his might. It was getting light 
no\v, and if he was to escape at all he must hurry, for he 
was sure that in the morning they would send for a 
mowing machine and cut him up into little pieces. 

After an hour's hard work he had bitten completely 
through the gas-pipe, and had laid his valve over the 
orifice. Slowly his silken bag filled with gas, and his 
strength returned. But try as he might he found he 
could not fill himself more than half-full, and so, at last, 
fearful of being discovered, he wobbled away down the 
street as fast as he could, flapping and waving, the most 
disreputable balloon imaginable. He made his way to- 


wards the country, but, after travelling a mile or so, he 
found he could go no further, as he leaked so badly. 

He had reached a farm-house on the road to the hills, 
and rustled into the yard to see whom he could find to 
help him. In the yard was a rusty sewing machine. 

" Good morning," said the balloon. 

"How do you do?" replied the machine; "and who 
are you ?" 


"I am a circus tent, and I've come to ask you to sew 
me up, please. A steam calliope ran into me, and tore 
this big rent, as you see ! ' And the half-empty balloon 
made himself stiff and angular to look like a tent. 


" Where is your pole ?" said the sewing machine. 

" Oh, I broke my pole," said the balloon. 

"What are you going to do with that basket?" said 
the machine. 

" Never mind ; will you help me or not?" 

" I'll help you on one condition, and that is that you go 
to the Electric Power House and steal a little dynamo to 
be my slave. I always did want to be run by electricity ! " 

As she absolutely refused to sew him up till he had 
done this, the balloon had to stay there till the next night, 
and then hobble back into town, and try to kidnap the 
dynamo. He set out as soon as it was dark, and by mid- 
night he had ^ot to the Power House. 

O <T> 

It was very dark inside, for the electric lights always 
went out at twelve o'clock, and he o;ot in through the 

o o 

doors they had left open, making himself as small as pos- 
sible in the hallway, squeezing through passages with 
great difficulty and pain. 

He had just reached the dynamo room, when a sizzling 
blue flame flashed, and lie fell on the floor with a stinging 
pain darting through him, while the air seemed full of 


violet sparks. He had stumbled across a live wire and 
had received a terrible shock. 

In the morning they found him there unconscious, but 
he never recovered, and expired without knowing what 
had killed him. 

It was rather a disappointment to the Fire Department, 
for they had decided to harness and halter the balloon, 
and tie him up above the Park by a long rope, so that he 
might be used to hold their hose when the tops of the 
houses caught fire. 



THE lamp posts on Queer-street were the most dis- 
orderly in the whole City o' Ligg. They went out when 
they should have been attending- to duty, they smoked, 
and they gambolled. In other parts of town the lamp 
posts were sedate and well-behaved, and stood in perfectly 
straight rows, like columns of soldiers marching down 

* > o 

the streets. They tried by every argument they could 
think of to make the Queer-street lamp posts behave 

"See here," said the elder ones, "you fellows think 
you are awfully clever and smart, I suppose, to cut up 
such shines, but you'll be taken down, some day, and 
they'll put up electric light poles instead, the first thing 
you know ! Then you'll wish you had behaved ! You're 


getting us all into trouble, and you ought to be ashamed 
of yourselves ! " 

But the Queer-street lamp posts flared up at this; they 
made light of the rebuke, and said " tJicy didn't care, 
they were going to have their fun while they were young, 
and the other fellows could just shut up preaching like 
prigs ! " 

So they lolled and loafed around on the corners, and 
winked at the hansom cabs as they passed by, and bowed 
mockingly to the omnibuses, and they beckoned to the 
bicycles with their little short arms, till they made a great 
scandal of their behaviour throughout the whole City o' 

LI S'g- 

One dark night, one of the silliest of them suggested 

that they should all go to the Park, and play hide-and-seek. 
No sooner was this foolishness proposed than the whole 
twenty-seven lamp posts started in a tipsy procession 
down Queer-street, jostling each other, knocking each 
other down, scrambling, waltzing, reeling, climbing on 

O ' O * O ' O 

top of each others' shoulders, jumping fences, ringing 
door-bells, rollicking, frollicking, bouncing, jouncing, 
hopping, flopping in the wildest kind of a hullabaloo, to- 
wards the Park. They were like a lot of puppies that 
had just been unmuzzled. 

Then they began the tipsiest game of hide-and-seek 


that ever was played. All but one put out their lights, 
and that one chased the others all over the Common. 
They jumped over trees, and they crawled under benches ; 
they got up on th'e roof of the Grand Band Stand, and 
they hid in the Frog Pond, and stuck their lanterns out 
of water to watch. 

While the fun was at its height, a little policeman sud- 
denly appeared and arrested the whole twenty-seven, and 
tied them together by threes. Then he opened a sewer- 
pipe and locked them in, while he went for help. 

Now, the sewer-pipe led to the river, emptying into it 
about a mile or two below the City o' Ligg. The lamp 
posts succeeded in untying their fastenings, and imme- 
diately began to crawl through the slimy hole, in the 
dark, one behind the other, and, after many hours, they 
crawled out upon a sand bar, in the middle of the river, 
half drowned, and as dirty as worms. 

They would have stayed on the island till they froze to 
death, if it hadn't happened that a tug came along just 
then. Of course, they didn't dare to go back to the City 
after such an escapade, but they didn't know where else 
to go. Now the tugs in the river Wob were not noted 
for their good-nature, and the lamp posts might have 
known, if they had not been such giddy, light-headed 
things, that tugs were not to be trusted. 


The tug whistled to them, "Hallo! what are you 
muddy lamp posts doing there on that bar?" 

The lamp post who had first suggested the lark 
answered, " We set out to have a torch-light procession, 

but we ot lost.' 


The tug pretended to believe this very improbable 
story, and cried, "You come and get aboard me, and I'll 
take you to a good place where you can get plenty of 

So the twenty-seven climbed aboard over each other's 
shoulders, and the tug put off down stream. As they 


reached the harbour, the little vessel began to roll fright- 
fully, and the posts became exceedingly seasick. Some 
of them tried to get off to wade ashore, but the water 
was so deep that they were afraid. 

Finally, the tug steamed up to an island where there 
was a white revolving lighthouse, and rolled them all 

5 O 

into shallow water, and shot away hissing and bubbling 
with laughter. They all struggled ashore, and waited on 
the beach, wondering where they were and what to do. 

As the lighthouse turned slowly around, like a search- 
light, its rays flashed upon the group of homesick, 
seasick, shivering lamp posts, and he called out, " Hallo! 
come up here, whoever you are ! " 

The posts struggled across the sancl of the island, very 
much ashamed of themselves. 

" Well, well," said the tower, "you are a queer set of 
little lighthouses, you are ! Who are you, anyway?" 

The spokesman of the party told him their story, and 
beeped the lighthouse to sfive them oil, for their lamps 

<T5 C!5 O j * 

were almost famished. This the lighthouse did, for he 
was a good old soul, and had been young himself. The 
lamp posts drank the oil greedily, and they grew brighter. 
While they were thus engaged there was a cry from 
the tower. " Oh, heavens," the lighthouse cried, " some- 
thing has happened to me ; I can't revolve ! What shall 


I do ? There's a man-o'-war due into the harbour, and 
she'll go on the bar if she can't see my light ! There ! 
Look! There are her rockets, now! Heavens! what 
shall I do ? " 

The lamp posts looked up, and there was a blue light 
off by the bar, sure enough. They consulted together 
hastily. Here was their time to retrieve their good name. 
They would go out and save the man-o'-war ! It would 
be a dangerous venture, for the tide was running 

<j *j 

swiftly ; but they could do no less than try. 

They ran as fast as they could clown to the beach op- 
posite the bar, and, wading in boldly, carefully pushed 
their way through the waves. At every step the water 
grew deeper, and they feared that every moment some 
billow would put out their lights and wash them off their 
feet. But they kept on bravely, and at last the water 
grew shallower, and they reached the buoy in the middle 
of the bar, waist-deep in the rushing tide. 

The buoy was rincnno- the bell with all her mi<jht. 

^ . o & o 

"Good work! " she cried. " Now stand in a thick group 
altogether, and the ship will see you." 

There they stood, the twenty-seven courageous lamp 
posts, like a hollow square of soldiers, slanting this way 
and that, as the waves broke over them, their flames 
flaring and flashing in the gusts of wind, and the sand 


crawling under their feet. At last the tide turned, and it 
was more comfortable. 

" Boom \ ' went the gun from the man-o'-war. 

The lighthouse, which had now fully recovered itself, 
and was able to revolve, flashed convulsively, as if it were 
sobbing with emotion and gratitude. 

o c> 

As soon as the ship had come to anchor, she sent a 
launch out to the bar, and took the twenty-seven lamp 
posts on board, proud and happy, but very wet and cold. 

"Good-bye !" they cried to the bell-buoy. 

" Good-bye !" she replied, and nodded a farewell. 

They were carried up to the City o' Ligg- in triumph, 
by the very tug who had betrayed them, and were met by 
the Mayor and populace with a brass band. They were 
marched into the Park, opposite the Town Hall, where 
they received a little lecture, but were forgiven for their 
noble service, and sent back to Queer-street, where they 
have behaved themselves perfectly, ever since. 



THE bicycles were, perhaps, the cleverest and best 
educated members of the inorganic society of the City o' 
Ligg. The bicycles looked clown upon the tricycles, and, 
in fact, upon all three and four-wheeled vehicles, and they 
did not associate even with hansom cabs, who wore their 
wheels side by side. 

Mr. Diamond Frame was a leader in bicycle circles, 
and was proud of his family and connections. He was 
mechanically perfect, a very high-grade wheel, and his 
father, Kangaroo, was one of the original Safeties, while, 
on his mother's side, he was descended from one of the 
very best High Wheel Ordinaries, in the early days of 
solid rubber tyres. From him, he traced his ancestry 
back through the Boneshakers and the Velocipedes, for 
an hundred years or more. 


Mr. Diamond Frame, when quite young, married a 
charming female Drop Frame cycle, a first-class wheel in 
every respect. She was very beautiful, and wore, on her 
wedding--day, a coat of white enamel, with full nickel 


After a year or so he became the father of the prettiest 

of little tandem twins, a combination couplet, of which he 
and the mother were both fond and proud. But their 
next child was more of a trial, and very hard to manage 
He grew up to be a very sporty machine, this little Dia- 


mond Frame he was a handsome racing wheel, with 
slender, light tubes, and a sprocket geared up to a fright- 
ful speed. He "scorched " shockingly, and was brought 
home broken or punctured almost every week. The 
father and mother were much distressed about his be- 
haviour, and dreaded to hear his bell ring after a long 
trip, fearing he had come back with a fractured fork or a 
broken crank. 

But the little Drop Frame daughter, who was born 
later, was her parents' favourite. She was a beautiful 
model, a modern chainless type, with narrow treads to 
her tyres, and altogether an up-to-date, stylish machine. 
Their hopes were set on an ambitious marriage for her, 
for the Frames were rich, and able to give her a generous 

When the father mentioned the matter to her, how- 
ever, he found that she had been indiscreet enough to 
have formed an attachment for an unspeakably low-grade 
wheel a machine with no distinguished name-plate, and 
who dressed in maroon-enamel and carried gear case, 
spatter-flap, a long pump, and mud guards. 

The son agreed with the father, that such a marriage 
was impossible, and promised to do what he could to pre- 
vent the match. He had begun to affect ram's horn 
handles and toe-clips, and sported a saddle of his own 


invention, but he had altogether a stronger sprocket than 

His style, however, soon interested a very aristocratic 
young Motorcycle whom he met one clay at a club run. 
The electric wheel had just come from Paris, and had an 
immense amount of manner. He was a second-hand ma- 
chine, to be sure, but of foreign make, and a Motorcycle 
at that ; 'surely here was the chance to marry off the little 
Drop Frame with a fashionable wedding ! 

The Motorcycle, however, was expensive, and needed 
much inducement to aofree. It took a lonof while to ar- 

O O 

range the preliminaries, but old Diamond Frame finally 
agreed to pay for all the repairs he needed. To their 
astonishment, however, the silly little Drop Frame 
daughter absolutely refused to leave her beloved third- 
class wheel, who, she asserted, was worth two of any 
foreign machines ever imported. 

Old Diamond Frame argued with her and lectured her 


and implored her, but all to no purpose, and he had 
about made up his mind that he would have to become 
the father-in-law of a cheap domestic pattern, when an 
unforeseen accident renewed his hopes for a more pleasant 

He was speeding with his daughter down Queer-street 
at a fast clip one day when, suddenly, the Drop Frame's 


tyre collapsed, and she fainted away. She was taken 
into a repair shop to be pumped up, but though she was 
rubbed with graphite and iziven a ifood dose of oil, she 

O 1 O O 

found she could not go, and the father decided to send 
her to a cyclery for awhile. 

During her convalescence she was taken up to the 
school for beginners, on the top floor, and there, to her 
horror, she found her lover, disgracefully bobbing round 
the rink, lurching into the padded walls and tumbling 
over the floor, under the weight of a fat man, learning to 
ride. To complete his degradation, the miserable ma- 
chine was actually wearing a brake. A man's bicycle 
with a brake. How vulgar ! How effeminate ! 

The si edit was too much for the delicate little wheel, 


and she swooned away, and had to be completely re- 
paired. After her recovery she gave an unwilling con- 
sent to being engaged to the Motorcycle, and the day for 
the weddino" was set. 


But, as the time approached, her heart began to soften 
toward the poor lover whom she had rejected, and she 
often wondered if he were happy. She contrasted his 
affectionate manner with the snobbery of the electric 
machine whom she was, so soon, to call her husband. 
He would not work half the time. It needed a very 
large repair kit to satisfy his needs, and her father had 


already begun to complain of the way he smoked and 
the liquid fuel he required. But no word came from her 
maroon-coloured lover, and she had given herself up as 
lost, when a second accident changed her whole life. 

She was out with her fiance, one evening, and had just 
begun to descend a rather stiff hill, when her brake gave 
way, and she lost all control of her pedals. " Help me ! 
I'm running away !" she shouted, in terror, to the Motor- 
cycle, but he, fearing to trust his own life on such a steep 
hill, refused to 3-0 after her. Faster and faster she flew 


down the slope, and she saw the river ahead of her. 
There seemed to be no way of escaping a violent death 
when, with a whirr and a rattle, a maroon-enamelled ma- 
chine shot after her at terrific speed. He charged up 
to her and caught her handles, and then, setting his 
brake with all his strength, he held her until the two 
came to a stop on the very edge of the river bank. It 
was her faithful lover. 

Old Diamond Frame was overcome with gratitude 


when he heard of the magnificent bravery and devotion 
of the hitherto despised machine, and, as he was indig- 
nant with the miserable cowardice of the Motorcycle, as 
well, he and his wife immediately gave their consent to 
the marriage of their daughter to her rescuer as soon as 

<_> o 

the previous engagement had been cancelled. 


The gallant bicycle was given a new coat of black 
enamel, all his bearings were renewed, and his nickel 
polished, so that on the day of the wedding the cycles 
said they had never seen a more handsome bride and 



THE little red stable with the peaked roof which lived 
on Sly-street, in the City o' Ligg, was not very well liked 
by its neighbours. There was a grood deal of talk about 

J ^> O 

its greed and" vanity, and it was the firm belief of all the 
houses on the street that the stable devoured horses. 
They saw two or three horses go into its great mouth of 
a door, and they seldom saw any horses come out again. 
They were very stupid houses, and they could not tell 
one horse from another; they did not notice that the same 
three horses went into the stable every night, and they 
could not see, of course, that the same horses came out 
of the back door, safe and sound, every morning. 

So when the little stable insisted upon having gas put 
in, the houses grew very indignant. 

" The idea ! " said one of the oldest residences ; " I 



have been built eighty-six years, and I never had gas in 
my life ! I think if oil is o-ood enough for me, it is crood 

J O O < 

enough for a little whippersnapper of a stable ! Who 
ever heard of having gas in a stable, anyway ?" 

But the stable had its own way, and it burnt gas every 
night, so that its two little windows shone brightly and 
winked mischievously at the scornful houses opposite till 
they drew their shutters and slammed their doors in dis- 


Now, the little boy named Yak was going through the 
West-end of Ligg one night, and he came to Sly-street 
and caught si< r ht of the stable that was lit with o-as. The 

o o > 

stable had a windmill built on its roof, which it used for 
pumping water, and this night being windy, the wheel was 
flying round and round with a merry rattle and clank as 
it pumped the water into the tank on the roof. 

" Well, well," said Yak, " you are the 'cutest stable I've 
seen for a lon^ time ! You have all the modern con- 


veniences, haven't you ?" 

" Yes," said the reel stable, turning still redder, " I flat- 
ter myself that I am thoroughly up-to-date." 

" He eats horses !" screamed the old three-story house 
across the street. 

" Is that true ? " asked Yak. 

The stable shut one window. 

" I'll go inside and see," said Yak. 

" You'll never come out ! " cried the three-story 

But Yak went in, just the same, and shut the door be- 
hind him, and locked it, so the stable could not talk. It 
was beautifully fitted up inside, and the three horses 
seemed to be very happy. Yak decided to spend the 
nio-ht there, and, not beini>- used to iras, he blew out all 

> O O 

the lights, and lay down on the straw. The stable tried 


its best to warn him of his danger from the escaping gas, 
but, as its door was shut, it could only shake and tremble 
so that Yak could not go to sleep. 

After awhile Yak began to sniff and cough. The place 
smelt abominably as the gas began to fill up the lofts. 
So Yak got up, and hearing the windmill whirling on the 
roof, he climbed out of an upper window, closed it behind 
him, and crawled over the eaves clear to the ridgepole. 

Suddenly, feeling very ill, the stable began to sway and 
lurch to and fro, rocking like a ship in the sea, and then, 
as it became filled with gas, it slowly tore away from its 
foundations and rose steadily in the air, like a balloon. 
It tried and tried to scream, for the stable was more 
frightened even than Yak himself, but it could not cry 
aloud, because its door was shut. So it sailed up into 
the sky, higher and higher. 

Yak was a very valourous little boy, and after a while 
he began to enjoy the flying trip on the stable. They 
were borne steadily along towards the sea by a North 
wind, and by daylight they were over the harbour, and he 
could see the water miles below him. But how should 
he ever get back ? He had had no breakfast, and he 
began to get very hungry. 

The windmill, meanwhile, had stopped, as there was no 
more water to pump, and Yak thought he might, by set- 


ting the wheel going backwards, use it like a paddle wheel 
and navigate his airship back towards the City o' Ligg. 
The plan worked very well, and the stable headed north- 
ward and flew alon^ till it crot over the town. 

> O 

There were several balloons in the sky, who had come 
from the mountains, where they lived, and these teased 
Yak and the poor dumb flying stable unmercifully, for 
the balloons were old enemies of the houses, and they 
were convulsed with laughter to see the ridiculous strucr- 

O O 

gles of the stable floating high amongst the clouds. Two 
or three .kites also appeared and flew around Yak, offer- 
ing him all kinds of advice, and one was good enough to 
fetch him up a loaf of bread for his breakfast. 

Now, two of the horses had been soon overcome by 
the fumes of the gas, and had fallen so fast asleep that 
they never woke up again, but one of them had been 
sleeping near a crevice in the wall, and when he awakened, 
feeling very queer and ill with the strange motions of the 
stable, he broke loose and began to kick at the front door. 
Finally he succeeded in breaking it open, and in that way 
the stable was able to talk once more. 

"Oh clear! oh dear!" it cried, " what has happened ? 
I never felt so bad in my life ! Where am I ? " 

"You're up in the air," said Yak. "Open your win- 
dows and you'll see." 


" I don't dare to," said the stable. " I'm afraid of being 
giddy, up so high ! " 

" You can't be any giddier than you are now," said 

And as that was true enough, the stable ventured to 
open one window and look down. Immediately the gas 
began to escape and the stable dropped through the air. 

"Whoa!" cried Yak, frightened nearly off the ridge- 
pole. " Don't open your windows so wide, but just raise 
one sash a little, and perhaps we shall get clown safely, 
after all." 

This the stable did, and they fell slowly towards the 
roofs of the houses. When they were nearly down, Yak 
cried out : " Look at the houses all watching us ! I say, 
this is fun ! " 

At this remark the stable, which was a very pert and 
vain little building, and fond of admiration, could not re- 
sist the temptation to open both windows very wide, to 
look down on the City o' Ligg, and, as it did so, a sud- 
den gust of wind swept them towards the church, and the 
poor little stable, with so much gas escaping, dropped 
with a downward rush right upon the sharp steeple of the 
church and stuck there, pierced through floor, ceiling 
and roof by the slender spire, impaled an hundred feet 
hi eh above the street ! 


As for Yak, he was again nearly thrown off the roof 
by the sudden fall and shock, but after he found he could 
go no further, he climbed into the stable through a win- 
dow to see how he could escape. After hard work with 
a pitchfork and rake, he succeeded in breaking a hole 
through the wall of the steeple, inside the stable ; and 
once within the spire, he had no trouble in getting down 
into the belfry, and out through the church, safe as even 

But for the rest of its life the stable had to remain fixed 
to the church spire, an object of derision to all the houses 
of the City o' Ligg ; and inside its walls, too, the poor 
horse had to stay, all Jiis life, being fed through the hole 
in the spire, and getting so little exercise that he grew 
fatter and fatter. For many years after that he could be 
seen poking his nose from the window of the stable in 
the air, gazing thoughtfully over the roofs of the City o' 
Ligg, pitying the poor horses below, who had to work all 
day and had never seen the top of a house in their lives. 


THERE were many Cameras living in the Ligg Photo- 
graphic Parlours, artists who looked down with scorn upon 
all other machines, not only upon the manufacturing 
or working members of the community, but upon such 
aristocrats as the Bicycles and Balloons as well. The 
musical instruments they recognised as artists, it is true, 
but it was the Cameras' opinion that most musical instru- 
ments were a bit mad. Even the Very Grand Pianos 
often got out of tune ; and, besides, they were all totally 
blind, from the Penny Whistles to the Church Organs. 
The Cameras themselves were deaf and dumb, but they 
never thought of that, as they had the best eyes of all 
the objects in the City o' Ligg, except the Telescopes, 
and the Telescopes didn't count ; they were not artists- 
they were merely elaborate tools. 


All sorts of Cameras worked in the Photographic 
Parlours. There were little Kodak and snap-shot affairs, 
and hundreds of Tripod Cameras who could- walk on 
three legs ; besides these, there were the big studio por- 
trait Cameras mounted on wheels, who rolled majestically 
around the rooms, wrapped in their robes of black velvet. 
Some of these machines could take full-size pictures, and 
used enormously expensive plates. 

The most intelligent of them all, however, was a 
medium-sized, or 6-inch by 8-inch, Tripod Camera. He 
did not have such expensive fittings as some of the others, 
for he was not able to afford wide-angle lenses and iris 
diaphragms, but he used rather quick plates, and his 
shutter, though not of the latest pattern, gave a rapid, 
clean exposure, and he could focus as sharply as many of 
the big instruments. He wore a small, yellow felt focus- 
ing cap, and did a good deal of work outside mostly- 
for he knew the town well, and could eauo-e the amount 

c> o 

of light required to the sixteenth part of a second ; in- 
deed, he had taken very successful pictures in the rain. 
It was the 6-inch bv 8-inch Camera who took most of 


the pictures illustrating these stories, so you can see for 
yourself how clever he was. 

Now, all Cameras, as is well known, see things upside 
down on their ground-glass screen ; to them, the whole 


world is topsy-turvy ; but they are so used to it that they 
think it quite natural for carts to roll along with their 
wheels in the air, and for things to fall up instead of 
down ; they have never known anything different. If 
you will stand on your head for a few minutes, or walk 
round the room on your hands, you will <ret a very o-ood 

* ' J 3 J O 

idea how the world seems to Cameras, except that it 
doesn't seem strange to them, and they never get dizzy 
or top-heavy. 

One day, as the 6-inch by 8-inch was returning from 
taking a picture of the Flying Stable, he dropped into a 
shop on Queer-street, where he used to buy his chemicals, 
and there he found for sale a new lens, the only one of 
its kind ever manufactured, which, he was told, was quite 
a curiosity. No one had been willing to buy it, for the 
brass tube was so filled with prisms and reflectors that no 
Camera cared to risk his eyesight by using such a new- 
fangled thing. The 6-inch by 8-inch, however, was a 
curious instrument, and fond of experiments, so he 


bought the queer lens, and took it home. 

He went directly into the dark room, took out his old 
lens, and inserted the new one. Then he opened the 
door and stepped out into the studio to tell the others 
about it. As the li<rht struck him, the Camera staLr~ered 

O 3 <?3 

on his tripod, and fell up to the ceiling, as he thought- 


for the whole place seemed upside down ! He sank on a 
painted imitation balustrade, and put on his cap in terror, 
not darincr to look a^ain. The other Cameras crowded 

O O 

round him, offering" him draughts of hypo, and imploring 
him to tell them what was the matter. 

The truth was that the combination of prisms inside 
the new lens tube cast the image of the things it pointed 
at upon the screen upright instead of inverted, as usual, 
and the 6-inch by 8-inch had for the first time seen the 
world ri<rht side up. It was a loner time before he 

O 1 O 

recovered from his dizziness sufficiently to speak. 

" I remember havino- heard that we Cameras see things 

O O 


in a different way from other instruments," said an old 
wet-plate Camera, after the 6-inch by 8-inch had explained 
his bewilderment ; " but, of course, as we can see better 
than any other machines, it must be that they see things 
upside clown. This new lens seems to reverse the image 
in some way but it's no kind of a way for Cameras to 
see at all we can't be expected to walk on the ceiling 
like flies, can we ? You'd better take the thing out, and 
not try to stand on your head ! Nobody can take pic- 
tures upside down ; it isn't natural ! ' 

By this time the Tripod Camera had ventured to peep 
out through the lens again, and he exclaimed, " Why, 
you're standing upside down yourself !" 

" Nonsense," said the old Portrait Camera, "you're 

crazy ! 

All the other Cameras were of the same opinion, when 
the 6-inch by 8-inch rose to his three legs, and looked 
round the room with great amusement. He promenaded 
unsteadily up and down the studio, trying to get used to 
the strange topsy-turviness, stumbling among the chairs 
and furniture, like a sailor on a heaving deck. He did 
not realise that he was in the same position as the others, 
for he felt the floor beneath his feet, and he thought it a 
great joke that all the Cameras clustered about him, and 
even the little pocket Kodaks on the shelves were star- 

i 9 2 T 1 1 K L I Y K L Y C I T Y O ' L I G G . 

ing at him upside down. After a while lie got so he 
could walk fairly well, and he went clown the stairs very 
carefully, and out into the street. 

He thought it would be sport to take a picture of the 
Old Church upside clown. It would make a great scan- 
dal in the City o' Ligg, for the stone Church was highly 
respected ; in fact, the picture would undoubtedly be 

The whole City seemed to him to be enchanted, or as 
if he were in some crazy dream. The Camera was 
nearly run down several times by Motor Cars running 
past with their wheels in the air, and when he reached 
the Church, the sight of that stately, respectable old 
edifice, with its steeple pointed downward and its foun- 
dations in the sky, was so funny that he could not keep 
still for o-ioralincr. He chuckled as he focused his lens, 

O O > O 

so that the Church and all the Houses seemed to writhe 
and wriggle, too. He shook with spasms of laughter as he 
drew out his slide, and when he exposed his plate he was 
gasping and trembling in the silliest fashion. It was no 
use, it was too funny; he .knew he had spoiled the 

He tried a picture of a row of Houses, and found it as 
hard to keep sober. So he stood on his head, and in 
this undignified position he took another picture more 


calmly, for then the Houses shown on his ground-glass 
screen seemed, at last, right side up. But even then he 
couldn't help going off into little convulsions of laughter, 
every little while, at the thought of how absurd the 
Church had appeared. 

When he got back to the studio, and developed the 
plates in the dark room, he found the pictures were the 
queerest he had ever printed. The perspective was all 
wrong, the pictures were out of focus, the film had melted 
and run, distorting the Houses so that they seemed made 
of soft wax which had been left too lonof in the sun but, 


strange to say, they were still right side up, after all ! He 
could not understand it. 

The next day, after a good night's sleep, he got up, 
and, forgetting all about the new lens, he started to walk 
across the studio without noticing. When, however, he 


did really look around, he saw the room was upside 
down again, and again he was so terrified at the bewilder- 
ing sight that he lost his balance and fell, hitting the end 
of the lens tube with terrific force, smashing all the prisms 
and lenses into little pieces. 

When he at last revived, after having been taken to 
the dark room, the Cameras found that the poor 6-inch by 
8-inch was totally blind. They put lens after lens into 
his eye tube, but though he could sometimes see well 

enough to be able to crawl around the room in the sun- 


light, he was never able to print any more pictures. 

Of course he tried, continually, exposing- plate after 
plate in hopes he might be able to print some sort of a 
picture, but though he tried salt prints and silver prints, 
gold and platinum prints, blue prints and bromides, there 
was never anything but a blur on the paper, for his nega- 
tives were almost opaque, as if they had been painted 
with varnish. And so, disappointed and miserable, he 
pined away. 

The other Cameras in the Ligg Photographic Parlours 
were very sorry for the poor 6-inch by 8-inch, not only be- 
cause he was blind, but because they all considered him 
crazy. The Tripod Camera was all the time talking 
about what he called his "revelation," or the strange 
idea of the world the mysterious lens had mven him. It 

J o 

was his firm idea that the Cameras all saw things wrongly, 
and that what they would call upside down was really 
right side up, and that things really fell down instead of 
up. But the Cameras only laughed to each other when 
the 6-inch by 8-inch talked like this, and said, when he 
had gone, " Poor thing ! that fall cracked him badly!" 

But the fall had, indeed, affected him more than they 
thought, for, after he was found one winter morning, still 
and cold, at the window, looking for the rising sun, and 


they knew that he would never crawl around on his three 
legs any more, or try and take his hopeless little prints, 
they came across a pile of negatives of his in a dark room. 
No one knew that he had taken so many pictures, and the 
Cameras were about to throw the meaningless, opaque 
sheets of glass into the dustbin, sadly, at the thought of 
the poor Camera's pathetic struggles to see, when sud- 
denly the oldest studio Portrait Camera, the old wet- 
plate machine, caught a glimpse of something on one of 
the negatives. 


" Look ! look !" he cried, in great excitement, and he 
pointed to a negative that stood slantwise on the shelf. 
As the light struck it obliquely, and was reflected from 
its film, there appeared on the surface of the plate the 
most wonderful picture the Cameras had ever seen. 
When the plate was viewed directly, it was nothing but a 
dull, colourless sheet of film, but, looking in this slanting 
way, in the reflected light, it was a perfect picture, in all 
the true colours of nature ! The sky showed blue, the 
trees were green, the flowers were red and yellow ! The 
poor 6-inch by 8-inch Camera had taken better pictures 
than he ever knew. 

The negatives were all saved, and put in a picture 
gallery, where they were exhibited as the most wonderful 
curiosities of the City o' Ligg. From time to time, 


stereopticon shows were given, and the marvellously 
beautiful views thrown on the screen were the delight of 
all the inhabitants. As time went on the fame of the 6- 
inch by 8-inch Camera grew and grew, and now he is 
universally acknowledged to have been the most talented 
artist that Ligg has ever produced, and his genius is 
spoken of with immense pride. 

But, in spite of that, the Cameras still believe, and 
probably always will believe, that the 6-inch by 8-inch 
was crazy, because he always insisted that upside down 
was right side up ! 


THERE were three bridges over the river Wob : the 


funny tubular girder, which confined the bothersome brig, 
the stone arches near the batteries, and the suspension- 
bridge, above the city. The last was the most disagree- 
able of them all ; finally, it went altogether too far, and 
got itself into trouble. 

It was not a good, honest suspension-bridge, hung 
from wire cables, as a suspension-bridge rightly should 
be, but it was supported by iron rods and straps, almost 
like a girder or a truss. Its floor rose in a long curve, 
almost like an arch ; altogether it was a mixture of styles, 
a mongrel bridge with a beastly temper no one thought 
it was safe. 

It had four great cast-iron towers, which rested on con- 
crete piers in the river, and the ends of its suspenders, as 
the jointed rods which were stretched over the towers 


might be called, were anchored to masonry abutments, 
over which were built little wooden pavilions. What 
made the bridge more dangerous was that it had no 
sway-bracing, so that it trembled and shook in the wind, 
like a camel catching a cold, and more than one electric 
car had been thrown off the track by the vibration, while 
crossing the river on the suspension bridge. 

The bridge was always a growler and a grumbler, but, 
when the ferry line was established, plying across the 
river from the City o' Ligg to the Highland side, the 
Suspension was almost unbearable. 

"Ain't 1 good enough to take you across?" he com- 
plained. " What's the use of going by water when you 
can go by land ? " But as he charged two cents toll, and 
the ferry-boats carried passengers for one cent, nearly 
every one took the steamers, who puffed across the river 
all day long, going and coming beneath the very floor 
of the bridge, smothering it in smoke. 

> O 

One Saturday, the bridge, who had had hardly a pas- 
senger crossing for a week, resolved not to stand it any 
longer. " If they don't want to use me any more," he 
said, " I'll be hanged to my towers if I'll stay here any 
longer for them to laugh at !" So he pulled, angrily, 
with all his might, on his rods and straps and hangers 
and braces, till it seemed as if he were going to pull up 


his anchorage by the roots. Instead of that, however, he 
broke his suspenders off short, on the Highland side, and 
the jerk, when the rods snapped, threw him over, upside 
down, splashing and sprawling in the middle of the River 
Wob, to the terror of the ferry-boats who were passing. 
He struggled wildly for a while, in the water, his concrete 
piers in the air, and his cast-iron towers wobbling like a 
baby's legs under him, all his tension members, that were 
built to resist pulling, being compressed and bent out of 
shape, and all his compression members, that were built 
to resist pushing and pressing, being pulled at unmerci- 
fully. It was very painful in this unaccustomed position, 
but the bridge managed at last to crawl along up to the 
bank on the City o' Ligg side, till his two front tower- 
legs climbed upon the track of the Railway. Here he 
stood a while, resting, his two rear towers still in the 
deepest part of the River Wob. 

There was a big semaphore across the railway, at that 
point, and it cried to the bridge, " What 'O ! get off the 
track ! " and it held up all its arms to warn the trains 
not to pass. 

" I'm going to stay right here ! " said the Bumptious 
Bridge ; " if the trains don't want to go over me, they can 
go round me!" and it chuckled to itself, to find how 
easily it would get its revenge. 


Pretty soon a train appeared, far clown the track, 
whistling and roaring. When it saw the semaphore warn- 
ing it to stop, it slowed up and came on slowly, stopping 
in front of the bridge tower that prevented its passing. 
The engine, which was of English make, pushed its buf- 
fers against the tower with all its strength, but it couldn't 

O -O 

budge the bridge. The engine grew more and more 
angry, butting and bellowing with great fury, but it was 
no use. It could not pass the obstruction that way. 

Soon another whistle was heard, and another train 
came flying down the line, from the other direction. It 
was the Ligg Fast Mail. When it saw the semaphore 
waving its arms, it slowed up, too, and came cautiously 
along till it reached the bridge. " What 'O ! What's 
the matter ? " it cried. 

The bridge didn't even trouble itself to answer ques- 
tions. There it was, and there it was going to stay. 
But the Mail Train was in a hurry ; it would never do to 
be interfered with in this fashion. 

Now the Mail Train was of American manufacture, with 
a big locomotive, and cars with platforms and doors in 
the ends, in the American style. The engine had huge, 
high boilers,- and its piston and steam chest were outside ; 
it had a big smokestack with a wood-burning funnel, a 
cowcatcher, and all that sort of thing. It was built for 


steep grades and sharp curves, and it could do a mile a 
minute, easily. It did not propose to be stopped by a 
mongrel suspension-bridge with cast-iron towers, if it 
were upside down on the line. 

So the Mail Train backed up the line about a mile, and 
then the locomotive opened its throttle and tore clown 
the track at full speed. When it got near the towers, 
the train gave a TREMENDOUS leap into the air, and hur- 
dled the bridge as prettily as a hunting horse takes a 
five-barred gate, and came gracefully down upon the 
track on the other side, exactly on the rails, and then, 
without so much as stopping to say good-bye, that Fast 
Mail tore down the track for the City o' Ligg, to make 
up for lost time. 

The English train felt rather cheap, after this perform- 
ance, and it backed down the line for a half a mile, while 
the bridge was laughing. Finally it came to a little coal- 
crane, on a wharf beside the riven' The crane was very 
sympathetic, and offered its services. " I think I might 
throw your carriages into the river, one by one," it said. 
" They're little ones, and not so heavy, and they'd float 
down stream, and no doubt help would be sent, when 
they were seen." 

As there seemed to be no other way out of the dilemma, 
the Locomotive reluctantly consented to allow the exper- 


iment to be tried. The crane picked up the carriages, 
one by one, grabbing them by their ventilators, then 
swung itself round on its pivot and tossed them into the 
river. They floated off, in a bobbling procession, down 

stream, and, just as the guard's van dropped into the 
water, a torpedo boat came snuffling up the river, in a 
great hurry. 

'What's all this?" he said, excitedly. "I thought 
these were some new kind of destroyers coming down to 


attack the City o' Ligg, for sure ! Lucky for those third- 
class carriages that I made out their numbers in time. I 
was just going to pepper them with my rapid-fire guns !" 

The torpedo boat seemed to be much disappointed that 
there was no enemy to be fought, after all, but when it 
heard about the suspension-bridge, and how it had 
blocked the traffic on the road, it brightened up a bit. 
" I'll settle him ! " it said, and it shoved a Whitehead tor- 
pedo, full of clock-work and dynamite, into its tube, and 
puffed gaily up stream. 

The Locomotive followed it up the line, cautiously, but 
all the crane was able to see of what happened was a 
huge puff of white smoke and spray, and a scattering of 
little rods, straps and braces, like a handful of jackstraws 
tossed into the air. But next day the Locomotive came 
back to thank the crane, and told it that there was to be 
a new bridge built at the same place, a wrought-iron 
cantilever drawbridge of the latest design, and that they 
hadn't found enough of the old suspension-bridge to use 
for fish-line sinkers. 

But, somehow, the English locomotive never seemed 
to be very friendly with the American Fast Mail, after 
that ! 


IT was very evident that Loom No. 7 was crazy. All 
the other weaving machines in the mill laughed at her, 
and yet they were a bit afraid of her, too. She worked a 
deal more swiftly and noiselessly than they, and she 
never seemed to get tired and never broke down. 

All the other looms followed the fashions very care- 
fully. If stripes were in style, they wove stripes, or if 
the latest mode demanded plaids, or checks, or pin 
points, or polka dots, they all worked busily at these 
patterns all, that is, except No. 7. 

No one had ever seen before such queer patterns as 
the crazy loom wove. Her designs seemed absolutely 
meaningless to the other machines. They had never 
seen such hideous combinations of colour, they said, for 
they used the regular blues and browns and reds, while 


No. 7 filled her bobbins with all sorts of unheard-of 
hues. Such monotonous, crude tints they were, in the 
opinion of the other machines, that they wondered she 
was allowed steam power at all surely, she was only 
wasting good material. 

But Loom No. 7 paid no attention whatever to her 
associates, and threw her shuttles back and forth all day, 
often keeping on through the lunch hour, while the other 
looms were being oiled and cleaned. She always seemed 
to be intensely interested in her work, too, and rattled 
and clicked away to herself and never talked to the 
others. As she rumbled steadily along, the wide roll of 
fabric she was weaving" ofrew fatter and fatter, and when 

O O 

she stopped to put in a bobbin of salmon or olive-green 
into her warp or woof, she would look carefully at the 
mysterious pattern on her tapestry, as if it really meant 
something to her, and she seemed to know perfectly 
whether or not she had dropped a stitch or broken a 
thread. Then she would rattle all over and hurry on, 
bangy-ty-bang, thumpy-ty-thump, as if she were afraid she 
wouldn't last long enough to finish the piece. 

Now at the end of each month the foreman came 
around to collect and carry away the finished pieces of 
cloth from the looms, and on the very day that No. 7 
completed her roll of tapestry, he came into the mill- 



sheds with the Mayor of the City o' Ligg and the little 
boy named Yak. The Mayor had just built himself a 
new house, and he had come to select stuff with which to 
furnish it, and Yak had come to help him in his choice. 

So they went with the foreman of the mill from one 
loom to another inspecting the different patterns. " These 
are all alike," said Yak. " Can't you show us something: 

J o 

new and interesting ? " 


" Well, no," said the foreman. " We mostly follow 
the prevailing styles in this mill, and all the patterns are 
pretty much alike. But come over this way, I'll show 
you something queer ! " He led them over to No. 7, 
and the Mayor and Yak looked curiously at the roll of 

The Mayor laughed. "That is a crazy design, isn't 
it?" he said. "I don't see how you can afford to keep 
a loom running on this insane tapestry. You'll never be 
able to sell this stuff !" 

The foreman scratched his head, and said, thought- 
fully, " No, I suppose not and yet, I dun no ! It seems 
to me that the loom is either crazy, as you say, or else it 
is a mighty clever machine ; altogether too clever for me. 
I confess I can't understand it at all, and that's the reason 
why I have an idea it must be something wonderful. 
What d'you think, Yak?" 


Yak was silently examining the design, very carefully, 
and said nothing for some time. Finally he said to the 
foreman : 

" You send . this roll of tapestry up to the Mayor's 
house, and let me study it out, and I'll let you know in a 
day or so what I think." 

The Mayor was surprised at this, for he was quite sure 

he would never want such a jumbled, unfinished thing in 
his house, but he had a great deal of faith in little Yak, 
and he made no objection. So the roll of tapestry was 
taken away, to the consternation of all the other looms, 
who whispered to each other. ' I say, No. 7 may not be 


such a fool as we thought, after all ! I always thought 
she was pretty deep. She's a 'cute one, that No. 7 !' 

In two days Yak sent for the Mayor and the foreman. 
He had been cutting up the tapestry, and had it all 
spread out on a bare floor in the new dining-room, and, 
to the surprise of the two men, they saw that, in the 
way Yak had pieced it together, as it should go on the 
walls of the room, the whole sheet of tapestry formed a 
beautiful and elaborate design of great vigour and origi- 
nality, and that the juxtaposition of colours formed a 
fresh and charming scheme of decoration that delighted 

O <_> 

them both. None of this had been noticeable in the 
narrow strips woven by the crazy loom, but many of 
them, placed side by side and properly matched, made a 
single dignified and interesting design, appropriate for 
the decoration of such an apartment as the dining-room 
of the Mayor of the City o' Ligg. 

When the foreman went back to the mill, he oiled up 
No. 7 very carefully, and filled her bobbins with the 
most expensive silk skeins, tissues of gold and silver, and 
threads dyed with the rarest hues ; he had all her parts 
rubbed, cleaned and polished, so that she shone like an 
Empress upon her throne. 

The other looms were jealous and envious at this, yet 
they did not hesitate to imitate No. 7 as best they could. 


If it were the fashion to be crazy, and weave mad patterns 
of no possible meaning" or form, why then they would not 
bother to follow their cards, but would throw their shuttles 
across haphazard. So that month the looms in the mill 
had a gay time, bouncing along carelessly, joking, and 
misbehaving themselves generally. They never troubled 
to stop if a thread broke or knotted, for what difference 
did it make ? If No. 7 could go on as she pleased, 
without rule or reason, making up her pattern as she 
went along, why shouldn't the)'? If it were the clever 
thing to be incomprehensible, they could weave nonsense 
as well as she, and so they went on with their foolish and 
ridiculous work for a month. 

When the foreman came around next time, however, 
to inspect the work of the looms, and saw the absurd, 
nonsensical botches upon which the silly machines had 
wasted their materials, he grew very angry. The stuff 
was not good enough even for sacking, for it was weakly 
woven, full of holes and knots and loops, besides being 
of such barbarous patterns that it made his eyes ache to 
look at the rolls of fabric. He ordered the looms to be 
stripped of their silks and woolen threads and had all 
their bobbins filled with rough hemp and jute of a horri- 
ble dirt colour, and set them to work on the coarsest 
bagging. But the roll from No. 7, who had worked 



patiently and carefully all the month, he had wrapped 
carefully and packed in tinfoil and sent, in a solid mahog- 
any case, to the International Industrial Exposition of 
the year. 

The looms could never understand it, and they hated 
No. 7 more than ever. But No. 7 kept on quietly, with- 
out condescending to answer their sneers and ridicule. 
She could have explained the whole thing, if she had 
cared, perhaps, but she had no time to talk.